Marriott Hotel

City of Fredericksburg, Virginia

Archaeological Excavations, Archival Research, and Public Outreach


Dovetail completed a multi-phased cultural resource project at the corner of Caroline and Charlotte streets in downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia prior to the construction of a Marriott hotel. Extensive archival research was first completed on the project area, including chain of titles for all four urban lots, a survey of historic newspapers dating from the early eighteenth through the early twentieth century, insurance policy research, oral histories, and extensive map and photographic research. Based on the information gathered during this task, a Phase I archaeological survey of the parcel was completed of the four city lots. Because the entire area is currently a parking lot and a single cinder block building, the survey included backhoe trenches and hand excavation of two test units. The subsurface survey revealed that the area had excellent integrity, as the buildings were truncated and sealed when the parking lot was created.

Overview of the Marriott Excavation Area Showing the Many Foundations Exposed During the Archaeology Study.

Knowing that the parcel contained intact, significant archaeological deposits, Dovetail worked with city representatives to raise funding to complete a Phase II/III excavation at the site. The team used a backhoe and pavement cutter to open a 35 x 55 ft area within the lot to expose the top of the archaeological deposits. In sum, the archaeologists uncovered the foundation of an 1830s servant’s quarter, the Indian Queen Tavern (c 1771-1832), and an early-mid eighteenth century sandstone building foundation, possibly later associated with Roger Dixon’s Store (c 1750-1769), as well as numerous landscape features and an abundance of historic artifacts. A report on the work was completed in 2008, and Dovetail subsequently created museum displays to showcase the site’s history and display some of the thousands of artifacts that tell the history of the property.

For a more in-depth look at this project, please view the following articles linked below:

Where Drink Was Deep, Part I

Where Drink Was Deep, Part II