Archaeology dig

Center for Public Archaeology Projects

King Manor

Up to their knees in dirt, students spent time digging in the ground of King Manor in Jamaica, Queens, the home of a New York State senator and delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Three seasons of archaeological excavation and analysis at the Rufus King Manor site were completed by Hofstra University between 2004 and 2006. This fieldwork was designed and directed by Dr. Christopher N. Matthews, former Associate Professor of Anthropology and past Executive Director of the Center for Public Archaeology. Field and laboratory research was supported by Hofstra University faculty and students as well as community volunteers. Get more info about King Manor

Archaeology Field Methods

Lloyd Manor

A team of Hofstra faculty and students excavated a Lloyd Harbor site believed to be an 18th century slave quarter. Owned and maintained as a house museum by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, Joseph Lloyd Manor is a high-style Georgian house built in 1767. Lloyd Manor was also home to Jupiter Hammon, one of the first captive Africans to have his poetry published in the United States. Archaeological research at Lloyd Manor has focused on a historic outbuilding illustrated with a chimney on an 1814 map of the area. This outbuilding stood away from the manor house and was likely home to several captive Africans known to have lived at the site. CfPA’s excavations aimed to verify this and understand the larger community of captive Africans on Long Island. Learn more about Lloyd Manor

Summer Dig in Lloyd Manor

A Long Time Coming: Archaeology and History of the Native and African-American Community of Setauket (Jacob and Hannah Hart Site)

This field school program was based at the Jacob and Hannah Hart site, a home site occupied from ca. 1870 - 1930 by one of the community's most well-known families. Students worked with community members to survey, excavate, and analyze the findings from one of the few communities where African-Americans and Native Americans have lived together for generations and continue to live. Learn more at Newsday.com


Thompson House

The Thompson House in East Setauket, New York, has a rich and storied past. Built in the early 18th century, the house was home to multiple generations of the Thompson family, many of whom found their way into the annals of local history. Though the Thompson family’s contributions to local history are significant and meaningful, current research at the site is interested as well in people whose everyday practices are often overlooked - the enslaved Africans who lived and labored at the Thompson house. The descendant community actively countered their historical marginalization by collaborating with archaeologists to recover aspects of their heritage in the village. This research has developed a counter-narrative that not only returns non-whites to historic white spaces, but explains how non-whites were removed from these spaces through a process of segregation tied to the creation of a leisure economy.