The four sites from Flowerdew Hundred in the DAACS archive are home to three groups: Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans, whose complex and conflicted interactions set the stage for the emergence of a slave society in the Chesapeake. The occupations of these four sites span a dynamic period of settlement and agricultural expansion in the region. Fifteen of the first 25 enslaved Africans imported into British North America lived at Flowerdew Hundred by late 1619. They joined indentured Europeans, neighboring Weyanock Indians, and elite European landowners in shaping the mid-17th century expansion of planation settlements across the Chesapeake, an expansion which led to the emergence of a tobacco plantation labor force comprised almost entirely of enslaved Africans and their descendants by 1700.

Three of the sites were occupied in the first half of the seventeenth century, when plantation laborers were mostly English indentured servants, with enslaved Natives and Africans in the minority. These sites include: a contact-period Native American village and a fortified English settlement that replaced it in 1619 (PG65), an elite house whose plan combines elements of traditional English design with Chesapeake innovations (PG64), and the area between these two sites that contained remains of a windmill, an early cellar, and numerous other English and Native American features (PG64/65). The fourth site dates to the second half of the 17th century, when tobacco planters replaced servants with enslaved Africans, and includes a house and adjacent work area with numerous artifact-rich pits (PG92).

Nearly 80,000 square feet were excavated at these four sites.  Excavations were undertaken by the College of William and Mary and Southside Historical Sites, Inc. under the direction of Dr. Norman Barka and Leverette Gregory from 1972-1979.  Students at the University of California, Berkeley also conducted excavations under the direction of Dr. James Deetz from 1982 to 2000.


Map of the 1000 acre Flowerdew Hundred Plantation with four sites included in the DAACS Project highlighted