WILLIAMSBURG, Va., September 17, 2010 — “Werowocomoco: Seat of Power,” a special exhibition that opened at Jamestown Settlement on May 15 for a six-month run, has been extended to June 30,
Statue of Powhatan in “Werowocomoco: Seat of Power” special exhibition at Jamestown Settlement.Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo.
Artifacts spanning 10,000 years from Werowocomoco – Virginia’s original “capital” city and the principal residence of Powhatan, paramount chief of 30-some Indian tribes in Virginia’s coastal region at the time English colonists arrived in 1607 – are shown for the first time in a museum setting. Jamestown Settlement is a museum of 17th-century Virginia operated by the state’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.
Developed in cooperation with the Werowocomoco site owners Robert F. and C. Lynn Ripley, the Virginia Indian Advisory Board and the Werowocomoco Research Group, the exhibition also explores what Werowocomoco means to descendent Virginia Indian communities today. The special exhibition is funded by a grant from James City County.
More than 60 artifacts discovered at Werowocomoco – projectile points, stone tools, pottery sherds and 1600s English copper – are shown with archaeological objects from collections of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park in Tazewell County, Va., and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.
Archaeological research in the past decade has revealed not only that the York River site was a uniquely important place during Powhatan’s time, but also that its role as a political, spiritual and social center predated the Powhatan chiefdom. Werowocomoco is the place where Captain John Smith was taken to meet with Powhatan after being captured by Powhatan Indians in 1607 and where he first met Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas.
The Werowocomoco archaeological site, located in Gloucester County about 20 miles from Jamestown, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register. The findings at Werowocomoco were featured in the May 2007 issue of National Geographic magazine and in a PBS/NOVA documentary “Pocahontas Revealed.”
The archaeological work at Werowocomoco has been incorporated in the Virginia Standards of Learning and has been adapted for a Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation education program available for groups with advance reservations.
Jamestown Settlement, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, is located southwest of Williamsburg on Route 31 at the Colonial Parkway next to Historic Jamestowne, site of the 1607 English settlement. Jamestown Settlement general admission of $14.00 for adults and $6.50 for ages 6 through 12 (2011: $15.50 for adults; $7.25 for ages 6-12). The special exhibition is included with general admission.
Permanent museum exhibits include expansive exhibition galleries and outdoor re-creations of an early 17th-century Powhatan Indian village, the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607 and a 1610-14 colonial fort.
For more information about the special exhibition and Jamestown Settlement, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit hif.ciniva.net/werowocomoco.htm.