The formation of the group developed from a growing need to engage archaeologists into the public conversation about archaeology in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom. In the fall of 2013, the city of Richmond’s Revitalize RVA initiative was announced, and residents, including Terry Brock and Kim Allen became concerned about the archaeological potential of the land planned for this development. In response, on March 29, 2014, together with three others, they held a symposium titled Before It’s Too Late: The History and Archaeology of Shockoe Bottom at the Richmond Public Library. Participants discussed the history of the slave trade in Richmond, archaeology at the Lumpkin's Jail site, Section 106, and several other topics. As a next step, participants called for a working group that would bring together interested members of the public and professionals to advocate for a ‘community archaeology,’ thus founding RVA Archaeology.
Through education, advocacy, research and public engagement, the group seeks to advance the discovery, protection, and interpretation of archaeological resources in Richmond.
1. To protect and preserve Richmond archaeological sites in cooperation with local government, concerned citizens, and regional and international bodies.
2. To foster the engagement of Richmond communities with their archaeological history.
3. To increase knowledge of Richmond’s archaeology through outings, lectures, special projects, and publications.
4. To serve as advisors and consultants to city administration officials, historic and preservation groups, developers, and other citizen bodies.