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Drayton Hall announces first Director of Archaeology, Luke Pecoraro

Archaeology, Breaking News, Preservation
drayton hall announces new director of archaeology luke pecaroro charleston plantation historic site

Luke Pecoraro photographed at Drayton Hall in September, 2021.

Drayton Hall Preservation Trust is pleased to announce that Dr. Luke Pecoraro has joined the Drayton Hall Preservation team as our first Director of Archaeology. Luke’s addition to Drayton Hall represents an important new day in the progression of our mission and the history of the site. For the first time, we have a dedicated senior archaeologist to further our effort to gain insight into the lives of all the previous occupants of Drayton Hall.

Over the past year, our fundraising efforts have been focused on the need for a robust archaeology program managed by an experienced and professional team. With Luke at the helm, near term efforts will include our efforts to locate and investigate the foundations of the homes of Drayton Hall’s 18th and 19th century enslaved residents. Ever mindful of our mission to foster a deeper understanding of colonial America and the evolution of life in the South by discovering, researching, conserving, and interpreting the history, context, and culture of Drayton Hall, Luke now embarks on a journey across the landscape to expand our knowledge and understanding of the site with the ultimate goal of bringing our discoveries to visitors and members as part of our international educational outreach.

Luke’s background is both fitting and exciting for our site and organization. He is a historical archaeologist and has worked in cultural resource management archaeology in the mid-Atlantic, the Chesapeake and in New England on a variety of prehistoric and historic sites, for several years was a staff archaeologist on the Jamestown Rediscovery project, and is the former Director of Archaeology at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Most recently, he served for two years as the Director of Curatorial Services for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.

Luke is a research archaeologist for the First Colony Foundation, searching for the 16th century “Lost Colony” on Roanoke Island, and a team member of the Survey and Landscape Archaeology on the Montserrat (SLAM) project in the British West Indies. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Master’s and Phd in archaeology from Boston University. Recent publications include Stewards of Memory: The Past, Present and Future of Historic Preservation at George Washington’s Mount Vernon edited by Carol Cadou, Luke Pecoraro and Thomas Reinhart (UVA Press, 2018).