Letter: Deagan dig is not oldest church in nation

Letter: Deagan dig is not oldest church in nation

Hayden Bassett
Charlottesville, Virginia

Dear Editor:

You need to revise “Digging up the oldest church in the nation.” (December 17, 2011).

This is an objectively false superlative.

Jamestown archaeologists recently discovered the earliest Anglican church in the nation (built in 1608). In the 1890s, APVA excavated the 1618 church at Jamestown. A few other churches in the Chesapeake, outside of Jamestown, have been excavated that date much earlier than the 1670s, as well.

Heck, the standing church tower on Jamestown Island dates earlier than this.

In terms of Catholic churches in this nation, there were many built prior to the 1670s … A LOT. Some of which still stand out west.

I’m not sure what happened with this headline, because out of early churches in this nation, it actually quite late.

I am very familiar with Kathleen Deagan, and as a fellow historical archaeologist, I know that she would not want this false headline reporting on her dig.

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