Mason Neck, VA – Gunston Hall Plantation will host its annual historical archaeology symposium on March 2nd from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This year’s seminar, “The Life of the Spirit: Material Dimensions of Religious and Spiritual Life in the Historic Chesapeake,” will focus on the spiritual practices, religious beliefs, and material expressions of the 18th- and 19th-century Chesapeake population. Special tours of Gunston Hall and lunch are included. Cost for this day-long program is $55 for general admission; $45 for Friends of Gunston Hall; and $25 for students with identification. Advance registration is required. Call 703-550-9220.
This symposium is suitable for anyone interested in hearing local archaeologists discuss how religion affected the public and private lives of historic Chesapeake residents. By exploring the material remains of past religious practices, church architecture, artifacts of conjuration and other objects, participants will learn how religion was linked with struggles for power, the distribution of wealth, and ethnic identity.
Gunston Hall is the home of George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, who wrote “That all men are by nature equally free, and independent, and have certain inherent rights.” Mason was among the first to call for freedom of the press, tolerance of religion, and many other fundamental democratic principles. An educational agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the plantation is governed by a Board of Regents of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America. Located 20 miles south of Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River, Gunston Hall is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For information, call 703/550-9220 or 1-800-811-6966, or visit www.GunstonHall.org
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