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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
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Page updated Nov 16, 2015 4:37 PM

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Family Dig Days

Family Dig Day sessions run for an hour and a half, and cost $5.00 per person. Reservations are required. Dig Days are held several times a year between May and October.

Dig Day Introduction

Dig Day introduction 

Site Tour 
Site Tour




Participants learn about the artifacts they found in the screens 
Participants learn about the artifacts they found in the screens 

The Public is invited to Dig Alexandria!

Check Back for 2016 Dates and Information

SIGN UP FOR A FAMILY DIG DAY and help City Archaeologists screen soil for artifacts from a real dig!

  • Check back for 2016 dates. Dig Days are usually held a few times a year between May and October. Saturday, 1:30 to 3 p.m.
  • $5/person. Fee is non-refundable. Space is limited and reservations are required.

  • Individuals and families are welcome. Children under sixteen years of age must be accompanied by a participating adult.

  • Upon receipt of full payment slots are secured and confirmation and additional information will be emailed. 
  • Due to the popularity of this event Dig Days fill quickly and participants may sign up for only one session per season. 
  • See below for more information on making your reservation.
  • Alexandria Archaeology is owned and operated by the City of Alexandria and complies with the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act. An individual with a disability who wishes a reasonable accommodation should call the Museum at 703.746.4399 a week before their reserved Family Dig Day.


General Information

For this summer’s schedule, please see the section above, or view our Calendar.

All the necessary equipment will be furnished, but please wear comfortable clothes, boots or sturdy shoes (no sandals), and bring a water bottle.

The event is presented in three parts, beginning with an introduction to the history and archaeology of the Shuter’s Hill Site, followed by a site tour, and finally gathering around the screens to sift through excavated soil collecting artifacts. The bags of artifacts will be sent to the laboratory in the Museum for processing.

The Shuter's Hill site has a long and varied history. The oldest artifacts found relate to early Native American occupation and include a quartzite hand axe, quartzite projectile points, and pottery fragments. Other artifacts found include bottles, rusted cans, broken china, car parts, and a 1920 Mercury dime. The remnants of several buildings have also been uncovered. These structures date before, during, and after the Civil War.

Guided Site Tours are also held on occasion. The public is invited to observe archaeologists at work, and to learn first-hand the steps to excavating a site. Meet the City Archaeologists and trained volunteers for one-hour guided tours. Learn about the site’s history and the artifacts. Site tours are free and open to the public, but reservations are required. See the Calendar for this year’s schedule, and call 703.746.4399 to sign up.

Reservations Are Required

To accommodate the large demand for the popular Family Dig Day program, the following policy has been established:

  • Reservations may be made with receipt of the full non-refundable payment ($5.00 per person) for your selected session. Sessions may be filled already, so please call 703.746.4399 or contact us by email to check availability before mailing your payment to:

Family Dig Days
Alexandria Archaeology
105 N. Union Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

  • Walk-ins can NOT be accommodated. Space is limited. Everyone’s name must appear on the reservation list.
  • If a Dig Day you are interested in has filled up, we keep a waiting list in case of cancellations. 

Alexandria Archaeology Museum
105 N. Union Street, #327
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703.838.6491

Museum Hours
Tuesday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m
Monday, Closed

Office Hours
Tuesday - Saturday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
by appointment