In front of you is the "Archaearium," an archaeological museum of early Jamestown history. Its exhibits explore both the James Fort excavations and those of the site above which it sits - the Statehouse, the first building built specifically for government in English North America.
This site was selected for its proximity to James Fort, with great views toward the fort that enhance visitors' understanding of the links between the site and its artifacts. It also allows some of the archaeology of the Statehouse to be directly interpreted under visitors' feet.
The building itself is technically advanced. It is situated in a "clean zone," meaning archaeological investigations were conducted so that its pile foundations do not bear on historic resources. Special piles and structural cantilevers allow the building to appear to hover lightly over a small base.
The copper cladding will weather over time, in harmony with the landscape. It also reflects the importance of copper to Virginia Indian society and to the English colonists, who traded it for food. Many "green" building technologies were also incorporated, including geothermal heating and cooling, low water consumption, and maximized use of daylight.