Mary and David A. Harrison III, who had purchased the land in 1967, had a keen interest in formally exploring Flowerdew Hundred and disseminating knowledge about its past to the public. Following their invitation, Norman Barka, assisted by Lefty Gregory, Charles Hodges, Andrew Edwards and Mary Beaudry (College of William and Mary), led excavations at the farm between 1971-1978. The owners also established the Flowerdew Hundred Foundation with a dedicated archaeology lab in 1980. James Deetz, a leading figure of North American historical archaeology (University of Berkeley and later University of Virginia), directed additional excavations at Flowerdew from 1980 through 1995 supported by the Harrisons and frequently in collaboration with Foundation staff. Excavations were also carried out by Leonard Winter (University of Berkeley) in 1981-1984, Robert Wharton and David Herod (University of California Lowie Museum) in 1984-1986, and Scott Speedy, Ann Markell (Flowerdew Foundation) and Margot Winer (University of Berkeley) in 1985-1989.
Deetz eventually produced a final synthesis in the form of a monograph, entitled Flowerdew Hundred: The Archaeology of a Virginia Plantation, 1619-1864 (University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1993), which remains a seminal publication about the site and Virginia archaeology in general. The Foundation, which had operated a museum and tours at the farm, unfortunately ceased to exist in 2007 when the farm was sold. Recognizing the continuing importance of Flowerdew Hundred for the public, the Harrison family bequeathed the archaeological finds to the University of Virginia Library in 2008, where the assemblage is housed and a permanent exhibit is displayed. While a wealth of historical information about Flowerdew can be found in the Flowerdew papers (1673-1893) in the Library of Virginia, the archaeological assemblage is especially instructive for public education and training archaeology professionals through the Interdisciplinary Program of Archaeology at the University of Virginia.
Norman Barka and his team (University of Virginia Library Archive)