M. Kelso is Director of Archaeology for the Association
for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA)
in Jamestown, VA. A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College,
Kelso obtained his Master's Degree in early American
history from the College of William and Mary in 1964.
In 1971, He completed his Ph.D. at Emory University.
1979 and 1985, Kelso served as the resident archeologist
at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's beloved home, and
in 1986, he became director of archeology. Kelso has
lectured on Architectural History at the University
of Virginia's School of Architecture since 1976 and,
since 1995, has served as Adjunct Professor at the College
of William and Mary.
came to APVA's Jamestown Rediscovery Project in 1993.
links to William Kelso's home page and other related infomation
please see our resources
Robert S. asks:
Did you always want to become an archeologist? How did
you go about becoming one? How is your work different
from that of other archeologists? What traits make someone
a good archeologist?
I spent high school and college and three years playing
and coaching football. To get into archeology, first
I volunteered on weekends, then pushed wheelbarrows
for minimum wage, then went back to graduate school.
Today, I focus only on British colonial sites in the
United States. I think the most important trait is love
of the past and a desire, like a detective, to figure
out what happened in the past from whatever physical
evidence an event produced.
Nina T. asks:
What are some other projects you've worked on? What were
you able to reveal about those projects?
worked on a number of plantations in Virginia and Georgia,
including Jefferson's Monticello. My work looks at how
people lived off the land- from the richest Planter
to the poorest laborer and slave.
Noah A. asks:
What are some things about Jamestown that remain a mystery?
How will you go about solving those mysteries? What would
be a key find?
still wonder how, despite a mysteriously high death
rate, Jamestown lived on to become the first permanent
English settlement in America. To resolve this question,
we'll look at the thousands of artifacts for patterns
of successful activities and look closely at human burials
for signs of trauma and disease.
Anne T. asks:
What, if anything, made Jamestown a unique colony? What
are some misconceptions about colonists you've been able
to clear up? Did future colonies learn anything from the
colony's primary goal was to make a profit for the sponsors
and first representative government in America met at
Jamestown. Our work refuted the ideas that the colonists
at Jamestown were "all" lazy and unskilled and therefore
incapable of surviving in a wilderness. Yes, Jamestown
taught future colonies that colonists should be given
their own land from the start as incentive and that
they should have a high percentage of farmers in the
colony from the start as well.