Students at the Ames Plantation

Ames Plantation Excavations

Ames Plantation in Grand Junction, Tennessee (Fayette County), and Rhodes College have been in partnership since 2001, providing Rhodes faculty and students with the opportunity to excavate 19th century sites. Previous sites include “Andrew’s Church” and other smaller house structures. For the last eight years, we, however, have been excavating on the site of Fanny Dickens, who moved to Fayette County after her husband passed away to become a plantation owner. Recently, over the last four years we have been excavating her slave houses. In total, Dickens had about 38 slaves. Researching access through ceramics, food remains and other artifacts and their distributions on the site, we study her slaves' perceived agency. Through our excavations during the Rhodes Environmental Archaeology Maymesters and at Conferences, we continue to educate the public about what we know about the slaves who were onsite through artifacts and floral and fauna remains. Currently, our RSAPs are also working in the Rhodes Community Heritage Garden, as an ethnographic tool in understanding food inequality in the colonial era.

To read more about our project please visit:

And if you would like to view more photos from our field schools, please visit: