VCU Rice Center

Photo of a camp building

History

Making history. Then and now.

The Rice Center has a long and rich history. The land that makes up the center has been occupied for the better part of 10,000 years. Today, archaeological digs, physical earthworks and remains of structures continue to tell the story of the land and its occupants.

Those who once called the area home include mobile Paleo-Indian hunter-gatherers, late-prehistoric Native Americans who engaged in rudimentary agriculture and extensive trade, European colonists, enslaved African-Americans, Union troops and 20th-century teenage campers.

All of these inhabitants represent distinct cultural traditions and have left behind distinctive marks on the landscape that archaeologists are using to tell the history of this unique land.

More information on the history and archeology of the Rice Center and surrounding area can be found in the following reports and publications.

Egghart, C. 2008. Slave and free black settlement and historical land use along the Lower James River: a cartographical case study. Quarterly Bulletin of the Archeological Society of Virginia: 63:40-49.

Egghart, C. 2009. The Walter and Inger Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences Through Time: A Study in Environmental Change, Human Land Use and its Effects along the Lower James River. M.S. Thesis. Virginia Commonwealth University.

Monroe, E.J. 2006. Supplemental archaeological survey of the proposed Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences Research Pier Facility and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Region I Headquarters Facility, Charles City County, Virginia. William & Mary Center for Archaeological Research. WMCAR Project 06-08.

Monroe, E.J. 2007. Archaeological survey of the proposed Inger and Walter Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences Education Building and Research Lab Facilities, Charles City County, Virginia. William & Mary Center for Archaeological Research. WMCAR Project 07-02.