Luke Pecoraro Named to "40 under 40: People Saving Places" List

Mount Vernon’s Director of Archaeology Luke Pecoraro was recently named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 40 under 40: People Saving Places list. This list honors professionals who expand our nation’s view of what it means to save places and tell America’s full history. Through his work at Mount Vernon, Luke educates visitors about archaeology’s role in establishing authentic interpretation and restoration of the estate.

Luke has worked at Mount Vernon for seven years, holding his current position since 2015. He’s often out and about leading tours to fellow archaeologists and preservation specialists, speaking at esteemed institutions, and digging at sites throughout the estate. He frequently reports on the estate's archaeological findings, such as studies done at Mount Vernon’s east slope deterioration and the viewshed across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon. As a historical archaeologist, Luke uses the estate’s rich historical documentation and primary sources to contextualize the cultural materials found throughout the estate. 

Luke Pecoraro, right, stands in the south midden excavation site at Mount Vernon.

When describing the breadth of work done by Luke and his team, he said, “We do more than just archaeology—we’re the cowboys of science.”

In the coming years, Luke hopes to better understand the estate as it looked before George Washington—under the ownership of George’s half-brother Lawrence Washington and their father Augustine Washington, who built the home. He will continue to educate the community about archaeology.

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