Center for Public Archaeology

About the Center

Since opening in 2008, the Center for Public Archaeology (CfPA) at Hofstra University has actively collaborated with local organizations to design and execute archaeological projects on Long Island. Our research identifies sites once occupied by some of Long Island’s most historically marginalized groups, including free and enslaved African Americans, Native Americans, and the working class, to name a few. The objects and materials we recover from these sites provide an intimate look into the everyday lives these populations and others in ways that historical documents simply cannot, and therefore shed much-needed light onto their contributions to Long Island’s historical development.

As a campus center, the CfPA is dedicated to enhancing students’ learning experience at Hofstra University. Students involved with the CfPA gain meaningful experiences in anthropological archaeology, community involvement, and civic engagement. Many of these students become active citizens who use their education and skill to address contemporary social issues. At the very least, students learn to apply research in ways that mutually benefit academic and public communities.

Mission Statement

The Center for Public Archaeology is dedicated to engaging and collaborating with Long Island's descendant, minority, and marginalized groups whose histories are at risk of being lost or erased. In addition to reconstructing local histories and advancing their visibility and meaning, the CfPA vows to address everyday issues like racism, segregation, gentrification, and poverty with rigorous and scholarly research.



Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
110 Hofstra University
200C Davison Hall
E-mail | Bio | (516) 463-4093




Rachel Riddell

Rachel Riddell '23
Rachel is pursuing a double major in Criminology and Anthropology with a concentration in Archaeology. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Rachel's fascination with anthropology has been deeply fostered through her coursework. She has developed a particular interest in forensic anthropology and bioarchaeology leading her to conduct fieldwork in mock forensic scene responses involving standard archaeological excavation methodologies. These academic and professional experiences have fueled Rachel's desire to continue her education as she intends to earn her PhD. Rachel is excited to gain hands-on experience while working with the CfPA, and learn more about archaeology.

Vanessa Mazzone

Vanessa Mazzone '24
Vanessa is from Long Island and has a double major in Criminology and Anthropology with a concentration in archaeology and a minor in forensic science. Vanessa has always been interested in the diverse cultures of people around the world. Her interest in the field of biological anthropology, and specifically forensic anthropology, drew her to these majors at Hofstra. She has always found archaeology fascinating and has a deep interest and dedication to learning more about past peoples, and especially those that have had their history be forgotten or mistreated. After graduation, Vanessa hopes to either continue studying forensic anthropology or forensic psychology in graduate school and wishes to ultimately have a job within the criminal justice system. 

Tahlia Richards

Tahlia Richards '23
Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Tahlia is pursuing a double major in Psychology and Anthropology with a concentration in Archaeology and a minor in Creative Writing. Her passion for psychology and a deep fascination with history led her to the field of Archaeology, and her most recent field school experience further solidified this. She is fascinated by the lived experiences of the everyday people that history books often fail to mention and aspires to help further the understanding of those people from the past by way of what they’ve left behind. She plans to continue her studies in Anthropology and Archaeology in graduate school.

Past CfPA interns and research assistants:

Eiryn Sheades ’20, Anthropology major, Biology and History minors

Emma Kern ’19, History and Anthropology majors  

Regina Volpe ’19, Creating Writing major, Anthropology minor

Kaitlin Breen ’18, History major, Criminology and American Studies minors

Sarah Drepaul ’18, Anthropology major, Biology minor

Scott Ferrara ’18, Anthropology major

Erika Hess ’18, History major, Anthropology minor

Erica Lang ’18, Anthropology, Sociology and Women’s Studies majors and Women’s Studies minor