Artifacts from the site of the Washington Monument. Photo: National Park Service

Contested Ground: Aboriginal America and the Potomac Frontier, A.D. 700 to 1676

February 10, 2004
On the evening of February 10, 2004, National Park Service archeologist Stephen R. Potter presented a lecture called “Contested Ground: Aboriginal America and the Potomac Frontier, A.D. 700 to 1676,” an account of native Americans who populated the region before European contact.

Potter showed that the area now know as Capitol Hill was highly prized and fought over by a variety of bands of Algonquian-speaking peoples, whose alliances and trade relationships stretched from the Virginia Capes to the Great Lakes and southern Ontario. Dr. Potter’s observations were based in part on recent archeological discoveries within the District of Columbia and were accompanied by slides of old maps, illustrations and unearthed artifacts.

Dr. Potter, who served as head archeologist for the National Capital Region of the National Park Service, holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and has written and lectured widely on the prehistoric and historic archeology of the eastern United States, the 17th century Chesapeake frontier, the southern Algonquian Indians, and the archeology and history of the American Civil War.

Past Lectures