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The Department of Religion and Classics presents the 2022 James Conlon Memorial Lecture.

World-renowned as the site of England's first permanent American settlement, Jamestown was thought to have been lost to erosion until intensive archaeological excavations begun in 1994 rediscovered the site. Since then, archaeological fieldwork has illuminated not only our understanding of the early years of James Fort but also of entanglement with First Peoples and the forcible arrival of enslaved Angolans in 1619. Jamestown is located along the north bank of the James River in Virginia. Much of it is low-lying, subject to erosion and flooding, and vulnerable to catastrophic hurricane damage.  

On May 4th, 2022, the National Trust listed Jamestown Island as one of our Nation's eleven most endangered historic places. David Givens, Jamestown Rediscovery's Director of Archaeology, will  address the climate change challenges that Jamestown faces and his team's efforts to preserve and protect  this critical site, as well as discuss some recent exciting finds related to past as well as modern-day climate change that will make us rewrite American history.

Dr. Givens was raised on a farm in Blacksburg, Virginia, where his passion for archaeology started at age fourteen. After attending Virginia Commonwealth University, he began a career in historical archaeology in the Chesapeake region. Working with the Jamestown Rediscovery program from the onset, David joined the team in 2001 as a full-time staff member. He attended the University of Leicester, where he finished his graduate work with distinction and was the 2014 Jamestown Society Fellowship recipient. His recent publications on Jamestown include Jane: Starvation, Cannibalism, and Endurance at Jamestown (2013), Holy Ground: Archaeology, Religion, and the First Founders of Jamestown (2016), and Church & State: The Archaeology of the Foundations of Democracy (2020). In addition, he has recently finished Angela: Jamestown and the First Africans (due 2022).

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  • Alexandra Diamantis
  • Chhibber, Hannah

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