Making history. Then and now.

The VCU Rice Rivers 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, 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.

Interactive timeline

Dig deeper

Reports and publications on the history and archeology of the VCU Rice Rivers Center and surrounding area:

  • Slave and free black settlement and historical land use along the Lower James River: a cartographical case study. View PDF
  • 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. View PDF
  • 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. View PDF
  • 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. View PDF

VCU Rice Rivers Footer
About us People and partners Research Community engagement News and events Site Reservation
Virginia Commonwealth University | VCU Life Sciences | VCU Rice Rivers Center | Box 842030 | Richmond, Virginia 23284-2030
(804) 827-5600 |