While the prospect of buried treasure in the back yard sounds appealing, Alexandria leaders say amateur treasure hunting is hindering historic preservation efforts.
At a City Council meeting last night, Mayor Justin Wilson said the Alexandria Archaeological Commission has expressed concerns about items taken from homes in Old Town that belong in a museum.
“Folks are going around in Old Town and offering to excavate privies folks have on their property,” Wilson said. “As a city that values professional archaeology and what we might discover, interpret and protect from archaeological digs, I know the commission is very concerned about the potential impacts of this backyard archaeology that can occur.”
City Archaeologist Eleanor Breen said in recent years, non-professional “bottle diggers” have targeted homes with back yards in Old Town. Former outhouses are a prime area of focus for archaeological work, featuring many items discarded that help tell the story of everyday life in a given period of history.
Breen said the city has been doing outreach in-person at local farmers’ markets and virtual outreach via the city website to try to connect homeowners with proper resources. The city also has a 311 network
“It’s a difficult conversation with property owners because they’re excited, but we want to make sure we protect these historic artifacts,” Wilson said. “We want to make sure folks are doing this wisely.”
Council member Kirk McPike noted that the 311 report system for “sinkhole on property” could make Alexandria the first city in the country with a virtual reporting system focused on historical bathrooms.
“It’s a privy category,” Wilson said. “If ever there’s a community that has that down, it’s ours.”
Image via AlexArchaeology/Twitter
It was a big week for getting a glimpse at Alexandria’s future. At a meeting this week, Deputy Director for Infrastructure and Environmental Quality Bill Skrabak offered an in-depth look…
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has unveiled the bluebell and cherry blossom-inspired art that will wrap around the exterior of the new Potomac Yard Metro station. Artist Rob…
A 2 BD/2 BA renovated townhome with an open floor plan, patio and fenced backyard in featured in Just Listed.
Alexandria transportation officials say that a pilot program to ease evening congestion on and around Duke Street is working and they want to make the changes permanent. City staff announced…
St. Paul’s Episcopal Preschool, a play-based, half-day preschool in the heart of Old Town, Alexandria has limited openings for the ’23-’24 school year.
- 18 month old – Kindergarten classes
- Full day Kindergarten option (3 days/week)
- Early Care
- Transportation (ages 3+)
- Weekly Field Trips (ages 3+)
- Financial Aid available
Monarch Montessori School located in the heart of Del Ray is enrolling children 6 weeks to 6 years of age for our half day and full day program.
Our hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday-Friday. Monarch Montessori School is open year round, with intermittent breaks.
Children engage in self-directed, self-initiated activities under the guidance of a trained Montessori teacher. Classroom sizes range from 8-12 students. Our robust curriculum includes botany, sensorial activities, the social graces, culture, math, science, practical life, geography, music appreciation and language arts.
You’ll get half off of the registration fee when you register and begin care with us before April 30, 2023.
2023 Alexandria Scottish Rite Friends & Family Charity Event
On Saturday Evening May 6th, 2023, at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, the Valley of Alexandria Scottish Rite will be holding its annual charity fundraiser for kids with speech and language disabilities. This event is open to the public.
Del Ray Dog Fest & Yappy Hour
The 1st Annual Del Ray Dog Fest is a fun outdoor event that will include dog-centered activities, dog menu items, live music, vendors and food on Sunday, April 2 from 11am- 3pm at the George Washington Middle School parking lot.