Wayfinding: Alexandria Archaeology Museum

City Council established the Alexandria Archaeological Commission, the first of its kind in the United States, in 1975, and hired a professional City archaeologist in 1977. The archaeology program continues today with collections of more than two million artifacts spanning 13,000 years of the City’s history.

Page updated on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:47 PM

Alexandria Archaeology Museum

105 N. Union Street, third floor

Archaeology sign (click for larger image)The launch of urban renewal in 1965 led to a boom of archaeological discoveries in Alexandria’s Old and Historic District. As buildings were razed exposing artifact-laden layers of history, community outcry demanded that the City address and halt the archaeological losses. The significance of the finds led the Smithsonian Institution to finance the archaeological investigations. When this support eventually ceased, a group of residents created the “Committee of 100,” with each member contributing $10 per month to enable excavation to continue. The constant sight of this salvage work and the array of artifacts from early taverns, a comb maker, a doctor’s office, and a shoemaker bolstered the public’s appreciation of archaeology. Residents successfully lobbied the Alexandria City Council, which in 1975, created the Alexandria Archaeological Commission, the first of its kind in the United States, and hired a professional City archaeologist in 1977.

The archaeology program continues today with collections of more than two million artifacts spanning 13,000 years of the City’s history. City Council furthered support for history and archaeology by passing the Archaeology Protection Code in 1989, ensuring that information about the past is not lost as a result of new development. Research and code projects have led to insights into Native American life, African American neighborhoods, the Civil War, cemeteries, taverns, potteries, plantations, and many other facets of Alexandria’s history. To learn more, visit the Alexandria Archaeology Museum on the third floor of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street, Studio #327.

Where to find this sign

In Old Town, mini kiosks are located at designated intersections along King Street, Cameron Street, and the Waterfront to provide an orientation for pedestrians. 

This wayfinding sign is located on King at N. Union Street. (For those taking the King Street Trolley, please check the schedule as times may have changed.)

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