Why is the lawn sunken? Historical

Why is the lawn sunken? Historical (HM1VSA)

Location: Forest, VA 24551 Bedford County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 20.842', W 79° 15.861'

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Thomas Jefferson designed the sunken lawn to accommodate the lower level of the house and form an area similar to a plain parterre or bowling green. Enslaved laborers led by Phil Hubbard, working on their own time for pay, excavated the lawn and built the mounds that flank the house with its backfill. In 1812, Jefferson directed his overseer to plant flowering shrubs on the banks.

Archaeologists located these plantings (blue markers) during excavations of the sunken lawn. The plantings were recognizable as dark organic stains in the soil. Pollen grains recovered from these stains could be linked to two of the five shrub species specified by Jefferson. Phytoliths (microscopic plant silicas recovered during excavation) suggest the lawn itself was planted in turf, while native grasses and weeds also grew on the banks with the shrubs.

In addition, archaeologists located an accompanying drainage system. The relationship of the drain to the planting holes and lawn surface indicates that Jefferson redesigned the lawn sometime after 1814 (white markers).
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, November 19th, 2016 at 9:02pm PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 653732 N 4134820
Decimal Degrees37.34736667, -79.26435000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 20.842', W 79° 15.861'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 20' 50.52" N, 79° 15' 51.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)434
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2013 Poplar Forest Dr, Forest VA 24551, US
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