Selected African American
and African Diaspora Archaeology Sites...

The following selected archaeology web sites have been evaluated for public-friendliness. Do you have a web page that could be included in this list of archaeology site web pages? Forward that information using the Feedback Form provided. This page remains under construction.

Life After Slavery: Investigations of an African American Farmstead  (Texas)

Ransom and Sarah Williams were former slaves who bought a farm in central Texas in 1871. They built a log cabin, laid out elaborate rock-walled corrals, and farmed and ranched as they raised their family over the next 30 years. A road construction project proposed by the Texas Department of Transportation triggered a series of archeological investigations that eventually uncovered more than 18,000 artifacts that once belonged to the Williams family. The archeological evidence is augmented by a detailed landscape analysis of the farm property, extensive archival research, oral history interviews with the Williams' descendants and the descendant community, and a study of late-nineteenth-century African American newspapers published in Austin.

Life After Slavery is an elaborate internet exhibit that tells the story of the Williams family and  farmlife in the Jim Crow era. In addition to 10 main topical sections, there are also a variety of learning activities for kids and comprehensive school lesson plans for teachers. The exhibit also has links to the oral history report (2 volumes) and archeological report (2 volumes) that are available in pdf format and may be downloaded for free.


Best Farm Slave Village (Monocacy National Battlefield Park, Maryland)

Monocacy National Battlefield archeologists are currently excavating the site of the largest known slave habitation site in the Mid-Atlantic region. The site is associated with L'Hermitage, a plantation established in 1794 by the Vincendières, a family of French planters who came to Maryland from Saint-Domingue (known today as Haiti). By 1800, L'Hermitage was home to 90 enslaved laborers, approximately ten times the number of slaves that would be expected for the size of the plantation. This was the second largest slave population in Frederick County at the time and among the largest in the state of Maryland.

Fort Mose: America's Black Colonial Fortress of Freedom (Florida)

In 1738, the fort and town of Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose was established as the first legally sanctioned free black community in what is now the United States. The Florida Museum of Natural History web site presents historical archaeology research on this African American experience in the Spanish colonies.

Ransom Place Archaeology (Indianapolis, Indiana)


This project uses archaeology and oral history to investigate African-American culture, business and consumption, and race and racism in Indianapolis, Indiana. This web site provides abundant information on the archaeological research overtime on 'The Circle City' neighborhood. (Point your browser to Archaeological Sites > Ransom Place Archaeology.)

African Burial Ground (New York City)


This site is presented by the Schomburb Center for Research in Black Culture (NY Public Library) and the (US) General Services Administration. The largest African American colonial cemetery in America was discovered during the construction of a federal office building in New York City. Explore this web site to see what has been learned from this important archaeological site.


President's House Site, Independence Park, Philadelphia

President's House Photo Gallery

President's House Streaming Video


The President's House: Freedom and Slavery in Making a New Nation
          (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)


A joint undertaking of the City of Philadelphia and the National Park Service, the President's House Project involves the site of the Executive Mansion for the new American nation, 1790-1800. The house site, located today within Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), provides an opportunity to tell an important national story -- the birth of the United States side-by-side the institution of slavery. The forthcoming archaeological investigations are in connection to the development of a permanent installation to be placed at the site to commemorate at least nine enslaved African Americans who lived and worked in the house during George Washington's years as President. The President's House web site is designed so that visitors can both keep track of the project's progress and communicate their comments and opinions in response. To date, the web site includes, among other resources, the President's House Site Archeology Briefing Paper, the texts of several Community Roundtable Discussions, content related to the memorial competition, historical documents, and links to the Independence Hall Association's extensive coverage of the President's House history, re-discovery, expanded interpretation, and commemoration.

Levi Jordan Plantation (Brazoria, Texas)


The Levi Jordan plantation was once home to enslaved blacks and slave owners and later to black sharecroppers and white landowners. White and black descendants of the site's former residents help to guide the archaeology research and interpretation. A web site, built through community participation, presents the sites history and provides a place for sharing and discussing ideas about this local history.

James Dexter Site (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)


The context for decision making on the excavation of this important archeological site at Independence National Historical Park is described at this web site. When the house site of James Dexter, a free black American, was found to be within the footprint of planned construction, the National Park Services consultations with local community groups lead to a reevaluation of the proposed treatment of the site.

Yates Community Archaeological Program: Freedman's Town (Houston, Texas)


This collaborative, community-centered project seeks to understand the impact of the African Diaspora through an African-centered lens of history, culture and understanding. YCAP maintains a student discussion forum at this site.

African Diaspora Archaeology Network


This is the major portal for African-American and African Diaspora archaeology. It contains a vast, comprehensive list of resources.

New Philadelphia (Illinois)


This web site chronicles a long-term project designed to locate, document, and study the growth and eventual demise of the earliest known town founded and registered in a state by an African American in the antebellum United States.

Bought and Sold at Williamsburg (Virginia)


(Scientific American Frontiers - Unearthing Secret America)
This is the archived web page for an episode of Scientific American Frontiers broadcast in 2002 featuring archeologists excavating the lives of enslaved persons in colonial America.  You can watch the entire episode on-line and also read answers by archaeologists to questions asked previously about African American archaeology.

Slave Housing at Monticello (Viriginia)


(Scientific American Frontiers - Unearthing Secret America)
This web feature originally accompanied a television episode broadcast.  It was produced by Fraser D. Neiman, Director of Archeology for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.You can also watch the entire episode online.

Parting Ways (Plymouth, Massachusetts)


Parting Ways was one of the first African American archaeology projects. It was a Bicentennial-era project undertaken with community participation. Research at the site recovered expressions of early 19th-century African American culture. A seminal study in the field of historical archaeology, Parting Ways forms a chapter in James Deetz's classic book In Small Things Forgotten (published in 1977, revised edition 1996). Deetz was one of archaeology's best writers making this both a fascinating and an enjoyable web offering. Thanks to the Plymouth Colony Archive Project, this archaeological study (1996:Chapter 7, pages 187-211) is now available at this illustrated web site. An archived brochure about the project and some images of the 1970-era excavations are available at the Parting Ways New Guinea Settlement web page.



Updated 9/15/2015