In keeping with Historic Vienna’s mission to preserve and protect Vienna’s history, an archaeological dig took place on the Freeman Store grounds in March 2023. A non-invasive ground penetrating radar survey of the property was completed in 2021 and several potential areas of interest were identified including four sites that were singled out for excavation. Two possible privies, wells or privies, a side yard where there could have been a barn and the immediate backyard where there may be either a tree or trash dump. “The gold in this property is probably in the privies and the well. Apparently, if you read about this type of stuff, [the past owners] would just at some point start throwing a lot of trash down as they changed over or moved on, and there’s often some really revealing stuff. We think [the dig] will materially increase our historical understanding, and we’d end up with more stories to tell about the Freeman Store and early Vienna history.” Historic Vienna President Anne Stuntz told the Vienna Town Council.
Work on the dig was done by The Ottery Group, an environmental consultant group located in Maryland, who performed the excavation, and bagged and documented artifacts. Historic Vienna will be responsible for their long-term storage, possibly with Fairfax County’s archaeology team.
Historic Vienna and the Freeman Store & Museum would like to thank everyone who participated and joined us in watching this fascinating dig.
The public was invited to observe the dig, see excavations in action, and meet the archaeologists. Please click here to enjoy a short video taken during the dig.