Archaeology: a Favorite Georgetown Subject
The Georgetown Public Library hosted Ruth Trocotolli, archaeologist for D.C.’s Historic Preservation Office Feb. 22 for a lecture in its Peabody Room.
Despite the beautiful weather, which Washingtonians were enjoying outside, the afternoon lecture had an impressive turn-out of 50 persons. This is no surprise, however, as the history and preservation of Washington, D.C, especially Georgetown, is so fascinating. The diversity of the audience was especially notable as well. Sprightly young students and much older grey-haired men and women scattered throughout the room. The age range within the room presented its own historical narrative, just as the historical excavations and discoveries in the area.
In her presentation Trocotolli raised an interesting observation: “People don’t realize the history that’s below their feet.” She went on to add what distinguishes archaeology: “It’s not biased the same way as written history is.”
The Historic Preservation Office works to encourage the protection of D.C.’s historic and cultural resources through the 3 p’s: planning, protection and public education. Trocotolli reiterated these principles and emphasizing the focus on reviewing project plans. Oftentimes, this process involves looking at properties throughout time and determining what beneficial resources would be there. Emphasis is also put on the effort of protection. Artifact Rescue Projects are frequent, especially in as historical place as Georgetown.
Trocotolli mentioned several historical buildings in Georgetown, which have undergone such rescue projects. For instance, the Forrest-Marbury building, now the Embassy of Ukraine, dates to 1788, and another nearby one, Halcyon House dates to 1787.
Both the history of Georgetown and the keen interest of its community are equally impressive. Tricotolli’s work within the community as well as the audience’s participation and interest in the area reflect Georgetown’s authentic collision of the past and the present.