May Term Class in Historical Archaeology
The portion of the old Slate Hill Plantation purchased by Hampden-Sydney College contains the site where Nathanial Venable built his home in 1756 as well as the location where Joseph Morton, Jr., the original settler of the property, established his residence in the 1730s.
Courtney Cowling '07 excavating the foundations of the 1756 Slate Hill house, May Term 2006. None of the original buildings now stand at Slate Hill Plantation; the last were removed in the early 1970s. However, the foundations of the original Slate Hill house are exposed and May Term classes have discovered other buried foundations and features dating to the eighteenth century.
In 2006, the College began a May Term class in Historical Archaeology
using Slate Hill Plantation as the focus of discussion and study. The purpose of the class is to provide students with an introduction to historical archaeology as well as to stimulate an interest in local history and an appreciation of the relationship of Hampden-Sydney College to Slate Hill Plantation. Since the first class in the summer of 2006, students have examined and collected a considerable amount of information on the history and archaeology of Slate Hill Plantation that has expanded our understanding of the lives of plantation residents.