Site 07 - "Antient" Field Settlement [ View Interactive Version ]
The "Antient Field" Quarter was first identified as Site 7 in 1997 during the ongoing Plantation Archaeological Survey under the direction of Monticello's Department of Archaeology. Based on archaeological evidence, such as ceramic sherds and other excavated items, Monticello's archaeologists have identified this area as the location of a settlement of the Shadwell and, later, Monticello plantations.
The quarter is associated with the tobacco-growing operations of the Ancient Field and likely dates to the creation of the Shadwell Plantation by Jefferson's father, Peter, in 1741. A small group of slaves and an overseer appears to have been settled here as field laborers.
In 1770, when Jefferson began to actively develop the Monticello Plantation, the settlement was expanded to the south. There is evidence that an overseer's residence was added, and a new settlement (Site 8), occupied entirely by enslaved workers, appeared a hundred yards to the southeast. Tobacco remained the plantation's chief agricultural concern.
By the end of the 1790s, only the overseer's house remained. This change appears to occur about the time Jefferson begins to focus on growing grain at Monticello instead of tobacco. The overseer's house seems to be abandoned by around 1805.