The Mount Vernon Midden Website
Access our Online Midden Website for more on the history, objects, and discoveries associated with this project.
While archaeological investigations at Mount Vernon have occurred since the 1930s, the majority of collections are from the professional archaeology program established in 1987 and a survey of the property conducted in 1984 and 1985. Excavations have yielded over a million artifacts providing a rich assemblage to study the intertwined lives of the plantation community: enslaved individuals, hired white workers, and Washington family members.
Artifacts recovered from the archaeological excavations are processed, analyzed, and housed in the archaeology laboratory. These artifacts are the keys to understanding and interpreting life at Mount Vernon during the 18th century. By studying faunal and floral remains, archaeologists learn more about the diet of Mount Vernon's residents; domestic, clothing, personal objects inform about daily life; while architectural artifacts provide clues to the layout and appearance of the plantation.
We are currently working on a multi-year initiative called Archaeological Collections Online. The goal of this project is to create an e-museum that presents our most significant collections. The South Grove Midden is already available and in coming years, we plan to feature the House for Families and the Distillery.