Archaeology in Annapolis is a partnership between the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Historic Annapolis Foundation. Begun in 1981, the Archaeology in Annapolis project has been concerned with promoting better understandings of Annapolis’ diverse past through the interpretation of material culture. Since 2000, Archaeology in Annapolis has also worked on Maryland’s Eastern Shore at William Paca’s 1792 plantation on Wye Island, as well as at Wye House, the home of the Lloyd family and where Frederick Douglass—at five or six years old—found he was a slave. Since 2012, Archaeology in Annapolis has worked with the historic African American community of The Hill in Easton, Maryland. Most recently, in 2014, AiA joined with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center to investigate the archaeology of 19th century African American history at their Edgewater, MD campus.

Who We Are

Dr. Mark P. Leone is a professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park. He has been director of Archaeology in Annapolis since 1981. Work in Annapolis continues to serve the needs of historic preservation in the city through the scientific and scholarly work of undergraduates and doctoral students in the department under his direction. Contact: mleone@umd.edu

Benjamin Skolnik is a PhD candidate, after recieving his Masters in Applied Anthropology. His research focuses on 18th and 19th century plantation landscapes throughout the Cheapeake. He uses GIS and remote sensing techniques, including LiDAR mapping, to study surviving colonial landscapes. Contact: bskolnik@umd.edu

Stefan Woehlke is in the fifth year of his PhD program, after receiving his Masters in Applied Anthropology. His dissertation will focus on power dynamics among individuals within enslaved communities. He will be conducting excavations at Montpelier, President James Madison's plantation, in Central Virginia. It is a unique environment for studying this topic because of the high level of archaeological preservation on the Montpelier property, as well as sites associated with African Americans spanning the early 18th to the Late 20th century. Contact: swoehlke@umd.edu

Tracy Jenkins is in his fourth year of the PhD program. His research focuses on the role of political activism and community formation in Easton, Maryland, in a neighborhood called The Hill. This neighborhood has been home to a large free African-American community since at least 50 years before Emancipation and the community is still intact and working to preserve that heritage. Tracy is part of an interdisciplinary team of scholars investigating this free community's history as a way of promoting community revitalization in the present. Contact: thjenk@umd.edu

Sarah Janesko is finishing her MAA with a focus on historical archaeology and a Certificate in museum scholarship and material culture. Her research with the Archaeology in Annapolis field school in 2014 and 2015 focused on two late 19th and early 20th century tenant farm house sites at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Her interests include interpretation of material culture in museums, human-environment relationships, and public engagement in archaeology. Contact: sjanesko@umd.edu

Archaeology in Annapolis Emeritus

Dr. Amanda Tang is a zooarchaeologist. Her dissertation concentrates on the foodways of enslaved African Americans and the Edward Lloyd family at the Wye House plantation from the late 18th century until Emancipation. Contact: atang1@umd.edu

Dr. Kathryn Deeley's research focuses on 19th century African American communities in Annapolis, building off of excavations conducted at the James Holliday House, and exploring the intersections of race, class, and consumption. Contact: kdeeley@umd.edu

Dr. Beth Pruitt's research focuses on the greenhouse and gardening at the Wye House plantation. She looks at not only the Euro-American scientific gardening conducted by the Lloyd family, but also the influences that the enslaved and other laborers had on the garden landscape. Contact: epruitt@umd.edu

Patricia Markert completed her Masters in Applied Anthropology. Her interests are in collaborative archaeological practices, including oral history and community archaeology, and working with descendent and local communities to look at memory and meaning in archaeological landscapes and materials of the late 19th and 20th century. Her work with the 2014 and 2015 AiA field school focused on a late 19th century tenant house at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center campus in Edgewater, MD. Contact: pmarkert@umd.edu

Janna Napoli completed her Masters in Applied Anthropology. Her interests include public archaeology and material culture studies. Her MAA internship focused on two sites of African American history in Orange, Va and Easton, MD. Contact: jnapoli@umd.edu

What We Do

Over the years, Archaeology in Annapolis has run an annual archaeological field school and excavated over forty sites throughout Annapolis' historic district. Archaeology in Annapolis has continually structured these series of annual excavations around forms of public archaeology, through public tours of archaeological sites, interpretive exhibits that showcase archaeological excavations, or digital presentations of our work. We have attempted to promote an inclusive form of Chesapeake history.

Archaeology is more than just digging old stuff out of the ground. Archaeology is a way of learning about the daily lives of people that have been excluded from history books—enslaved African Americans, women, members of the working class, and other marginalized groups.

Archaeology in Annapolis designed a two-step process that sought to (1) uncover contemporary inequalities in daily life, and (2) utilize public archaeology as a means of presenting the idea that these inequalities were not inevitable but instead could be corrected through archaeology. Over the years, Archaeology in Annapolis’ research foci have changed, but the dedication to research on inequality has remained a constant.

Creating Active Discourse

A long-standing part of Archaeology in Annapolis’ commitment to public archaeology has been our belief that people should be encouraged to critique, respond to, and challenge our motives for interpreting the past. This process serves as a cornerstone for the premise that through active and critical discourse social change can be wrought. With your help this process can produce a meaningful discussion and constructive critique of archaeology.

To that end, please send us an e-mail at annapolisarch@gmail.com, leave us a message on our Facebook page, or comment on our blog.