About Us

The University of Mary Washington’s Archaeology Laboratory, established in 1984, is located on campus in the basement of Combs Hall and is affiliated with the Department of Historic Preservation and the Center for Historic Preservation. The lab is fully functioning, covering such tasks as artifact processing, analysis, and storage.  It also serves as an educational tool for the Department’s archaeology focus, offering students the opportunity to work with artifacts and learn general lab procedures. Between 1993 and 2006, the lab supported the cultural resource management projects conducted by the Center for Historic Preservation.

Each year there are two student aides who work on different projects within the lab, gaining practical experience. Their primary duties include artifact processing, cataloging and analysis; maintaining the lab’s collections; and, assisting with the lab’s educational and research goals.

The Archaeology Lab supports multiple classes which use the existing collections.  The classes affiliated with the lab are: American Archaeology (HISP 207), Laboratory Methods in Archaeology (HISP 462), and Field Methods in Archaeology (HISP 467).

Until 2017, the Archaeology Lab was under the supervision of Professor Douglas W. Sanford. Upon Dr. Sanford’s retirement in May 2017, all archaeology classes, fieldwork, research, and laboratory work has been under the direction of Professor Lauren K. McMillan.

A recent (Fall 2012) project addition to the Lab occurred when the HISP 491: Archaeological Collections Management class undertook the inventorying and assessing of the lab’s various collections to determine their current conditions and future needs. This class designed the Lab’s website.

This website is now maintained by Dr. McMillan and archaeology laboratory student aides with guest posts by various UMW students and alumni working in the laboratory. The main collection that is currently being processed and analyzed is Sherwood Forest Plantation. Work on this antebellum plantation site has been under the direction of Dr. McMillan since 2015. Other projects include reanalysis of Nomini Plantation and continued work on the Stratford Hall collection.

For some background information regarding our new goals for the lab, please see this post.

Address: 1301 College Avenue Fredericksburg Virginia 22401

E-mail: umwarchaeologylab@gmail.com

Supervisor: Dr.  Lauren K. McMillan

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