United States


Website: http://oha.alexandriava.g

Alexandria Archaeology Museum

The Alexandria Archaeology Museum is dedicated to preserving and studying Alexandria’s rich archaeological heritage and fostering within citizens and visitors a connection between the past and present while inspiring a sense of stewardship and adventure.

Permanent Collection

Prehistoric Stone Tools
Stonegate Site, Braddock Road 44AX166

These artifacts were discovered at a site where stone tools were manufactured by Native Americans in the Late Archaic period, around 2,500 BC. These tools broke during manufacture, and were discarded on the site. Finished tools like these were used by hunter-gatherers to hunt small animals, and to process plant material.

The prehistoric levels at the Stonegate Site in Alexandria’s West End, where these artifacts were found in 1993, remained undisturbed through the millennia until they were excavated prior to construction of townhouses. A portion of the site was set aside as an archaeological preserve.

------ ------

"He in Glory America in Tears"
Holiday Inn Site, 400 King Street 44AX91-Well 4KSW-13

This creamware pitcher was made in England to commemorate the death of George Washington. With Mount Vernon just eight miles away, and a town house on Cameron Street near the center of Alexandria, Washington was a frequent figure in town, worshiping at Christ Church and attending balls at Gadsby’s Tavern. The design is from a print published in 1800. This pitcher may have once belonged to the family of a tanner, Robert William Kirk, who owned a wooden store and dwelling on this property, at 416-418 King Street, until 1804.

Above George Washington’s portrait are the words "He in Glory/America in Tears." Around the urn are the words "George Washington Born Feb. 11, 1732/Gen’l of the American Armies 1775/Resigned 1785/President of the United States 1789/Resigned 1796/General of the American Armies 1798/Died Universally Regretted 14th December 1799." A cartouche beneath the spout bears the leg...+ [ Read all ]


Excerpts from the Exhibition Catalogue (1983)

The Alexandria Gazette has recorded the history of Alexandria and its merchants since 1784. Artifacts from archaeological excavations on the sites of early shops and residences, together with advertisements from early issues of this newspaper, provide insight into the history of Alexandria merchants and their wares. The artifact assemblages from wells behind Alexandria shops provide an inside look at the products sold by specific merchants in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Early newspaper advertisements provide clues to the origin of consumer goods which were discarded in Alexandria’s backyards.

Back to top

The Town


The town of Alexandria was laid out in 1749 on the site of a tobacco warehouse. Led by Scottish merchants, the town evolved into a major commercial port by the end of the century. Although international trade dwindled with 19th-century competition from Baltimore and other northern cities, an increasing variety of goods reached Alexandria shops from other American ports. These imported items and manufactured goods were sold to country merchants as well as to residents of the town.

Most of Alexandria’s early shops were clustered along King Street, near City Hall and the Market Square, and close to the waterfront. Merchandise was also sold directly from the wharves or auctioned by the vendue merchant. A farmers' market, established in 1753, supplied fresh produce.

Today, Alexandrians shops at malls and supermarkets for many of their basic needs, yet the farmers' market continues to sell produce and handcrafts early on Saturday mornings and specialty shops still line King Street. Twen...+ [ Read all ]



Opening hours

Tuesday to Friday: 10 am to 3 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 1 pm to 5 pm
Monday: Closed
Closed: New Year's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

Getting there

The Alexandria Archaeology Museum is located in the Torpedo Factory Art Center, on the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria, near many shops, restaurants, and other museums and historic sites. Alexandria is half-way between Washington, D.C. and Mount Vernon.

From Washington, D.C., and National Airport
Take the George Washington Parkway south, past the airport, into Alexandria. The Parkway becomes Washington Street in the City. Go about a mile, past Queen Street, and turn left on Cameron Street, opposite Christ Church. Go six blocks to the end, and turn right on North Union Street. The Torpedo Factory Art Center will be on your left. The Alexandria Archaeology Museum is on the third floor of the Art Center.

From I-95/I-495 (Capital Beltway)
Take the US Route 1 North exit (first exit on the Virginia side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge). Take your first right onto Franklin Street, go ten blocks to the end, and turn left onto North Union Street. Go six blocks north, past King Street, and the Torpedo Factory Art Center will be on your right. The Alexandria Archaeology Museum is on the third floor of the Art Center.

By Metro
Take the yellow or blue line to King Street station. Cross the parking lot and turn right, one half block to King Street. Turn right (east) on King Street and walk about down hill about 1 1/2 miles to North Union Street. Turn left, and the Torpedo Factory Art Center will be on your left. The Alexandria Archaeology Museum is on the third floor of the Art Center. Or take the Dash Bus to King and North Royal Streets. Call (703) 370-DASH for bus schedules and information, or check the schedules posted at the station.

By Tra...+ [ Read all ]


Metered Parking is available on Union Street, with two or three hour parking on nearby residential streets. Parking regulations are strictly enforced. A free 24-hour parking pass, valid at meters, is available to out-of-town visitors at Ramsay House Visitors Center (open daily from 9 am to 5 pm) at 221 King Street. There are also convenient parking garages nearby.


The museum is wheel-chair accessible. The City of Alexandria complies with the terms of ADA. An individual with a disability who wishes to request a reasonable accommodation may contact Alexandria Archaeology at 703-838-4399.

Museum internal and external photos (1)

Click on the images to enlarge


nternships for College Students

Internship opportunities (unpaid) are available on a limited basis throughout the year, to students who will receive credit through their colleges or universities. Students usually come from departments of Anthropology, American Studies, Historic Preservation, History, Museum Studies and Museum Education.

Call the Internship Coordinator at 703-838-4399 or send an Internship Application with your current resume to Alexandria Archaeology, 105 N, Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Some internship opportunities which may be available include:

* Organizing historical and archaeological references to create a data base for making preservation decisions.
* Conducting documentary research using primary and secondary sources on specific properties or on specific aspects of the City’s historic development.
* Conducting archaeological survey, excavation and laboratory work, as available (generally May through October)
* Assisting in museum education programs which interpret archaeological and historical information to the public. Opportunities to design and install small-scale exhibitions are available on occasion.
* Assisting in collections management of artifact collections and their documentation, including field notes, records and photographs.