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Excavation at Brentsville Courthouse Historic CentreArchaeology, or archeology, is the study of past human societies, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material, culture and environmental data they have left behind. This includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes.

Archaeology studies human history from the development of the first stone tools 2.5 million years ago up to recent decades. It is of particular help in learning about prehistoric societies where there are no written records for historians to study.

Archaeology involves surveyance, excavation and analysis of data collected in order to learn more about the past. Through archaeology it is possible to gain an understanding of Prince William County’s rich historical legacy and the important role it holds in our country's past.
Prince William County has a permanent archaeologist on staff who helps the County meet its Cultural Resource Management needs. The County Archaeologist assists with identifying, protecting and managing the County’s cultural resources and also works to enhance awareness of the County’s history and the importance of preserving the County’s prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, and architectural sites that are linked to the county’s, Virginia’s and the nation’s history.

Prince william County Archaeologist Justin Patton, worked with volunteer groups to stabilize the Grayson Family Tomb.

 Grayson Family Tomb Stabilization Project

In 2013, Prince William County was requested to investigate restoration of the Grayson Family Tomb. Working with many interested groups, a plan was developed to stabilize the Tomb, including the Good Shepherd Housing Foundation, who owns the Tomb. Archival and archaeological research was completed in 2014. Stabilization immediately followed and the Tomb was rededicated on September 20, 2014. The story of this stabilization project is now available.

Grayson Family Tomb Stabilization Project  




 ForArtifacts at Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre further information about archaeology in Prince William County, please contact the Planning Office at 703-792-7615 or e-mail


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