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2021 Virtual Workshops in Archaeology

September 15, 2021

Filed under Events, Programs, Virtual Learning

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Hidden Stories: Uncovering African American History Through Archaeology and Community Engagement

The lives of African Americans prior to the 20th century are poorly documented in the historic record and frequently biased. In addition, the contributions of enslaved, indentured, and free African Americans are mostly missing from our history books and museum exhibits. Archaeology is a method that can be used to help fill this gap in our understanding of past cultural behavior in Pennsylvania. This year’s Workshops in Archaeology will feature an overview of several African American archaeological investigations and community archaeology projects in Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic.

Visit YouTube to watch recordings of the 2021 Virtual Workshops in Archaeology.

9:00 AM Opening Remarks

Beth Hager, Director, The State Museum of Pennsylvania

9:10 AM – 9:30 AM Free Black Communities and Archaeology

Alexandra Jones, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Practice in History and Anthropology, Goucher college, Towson, MD, founder of the Archaeology in the Community, and Consultant, The State Museum of Pennsylvania

9:40 AM – 10:10 AM The Hallowed Ground Project in Pennsylvania

Barbara Barksdale, CTA, Friends of Midland Cemetery, Steelton, PA, and Chair, Hallowed Ground Project

10:20 AM – 10:50 AM The Role of Archaeology in Bridging Informational Gaps Between Diasporic Communities: A Case Study at Pandenarium, Mercer County

Samantha Taylor, Archaeologist, New South Associates, Greensboro, NC

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Telling Untold Stories of Underrepresented Populations

Angela Jaillet-Wentling M.A., RPS, Cultural Resources Program Coordinator, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)

11:40 AM – 12:10 PM A Gift to the Nation: The Perkins-Dennis Farm, an African American Farm in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier

Wade P. Catts, RPA, President/Principal, South River Heritage Consulting, LLC, Board Member, Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust

12:10 – 12:45 PM Lunch Break

12:45 PM – 1:15 PM African American Archaeology in Philadelphia

Douglas Mooney, Senior Archaeologist, AECOM

1:25 PM – 1:55 PM African American Archaeology in Gettysburg

Erik Kreusch, Archaeologist, Gettysburg National Military Park

2:05 PM – 2:35 PM Communities Reclaiming Ancestral Lands through Public Archaeology: A Case Study from Presidential Plantation

Matthew Reeves, Director of Archaeology, Montpelier Plantation in Virginia, home of President James Madison

2:45 PM – 3:15 PM Keynote – Cheryl LaRoche, Ph.D., Lecturer, University of Maryland College Park

3:25 PM – 4:15 PM Panel Discussion: The Future of African American Community Archaeology in Pennsylvania – Alexandra Jones, Cheryl LaRoche, Barbara Barksdale, Angela Jaillet-Wentling and Matthew Reeves.

African American Community Archaeology – Selected Articles and Resources 10/30/2021


Cumberland County to add names of Civil War veterans to Soldiers’ Monument, The Sentinel, August 20, 2021

A Gathering at the Crossroads: Memorializing African American Trailblazers and a Lost Neighborhood in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Heritage, Spring 2021

Piecing Together Pandenarium: Archaeology at the Site of a Free Black Community in Western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Heritage, Spring 2021

Decades after black cemetery’s gravestones removed and lost, families try to restore dignity to sacred space, PennLive, June 26, 2019

Archeologists digging at Hopewell Furnace to uncover lives of African American tenant farmers, Black News, July 23, 2021

Book to highlight Perry County’s forgotten history, The Sentinel, February 26, 2012

Giving Chesco African American headstones the dignity they deserve, The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 13, 2012

Dickinson College Project Tells Forgotten Stories of Slavery

Black Settlement on Yellow Hill, Pennsylvania Heritage, Fall 2008

Forgotten African American Cemetery Unearthed American Archaeology Fall 2021 PDF Document

The Purpose of Archaeology American Archaeology Fall 2021 [link-PDF]


Pennsylvania Historic Preservation resources and guidance for African American sites in Pennsylvania

Dickinson University, House Divided Project – information and educational resources on the Civil War

Digital Harrisburg, The Old Eighth Ward – photographs, information, and interactive maps of Harrisburg’s Old 8th Ward

Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds Project; Saving PA’s Historic African American Cemeteries – saving African American cemeteries/USCT Civil War soldier graves

Millersville University, Slavery & Abolition in the US; Select Publications of the 1800s PDF Document

Engaging Descendent Communities – James Madison’s Montpelier & National Trust for Historic Preservation African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund PDF Document

African American Historical Society of South-Central Pennsylvania email


 Presented in association with:

Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation, Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology,

and Pennsylvania Archaeological Council