PA State Museum to Hold Workshops in Archaeology, Saturday, October 30

The State Museum of Pennsylvania will hold its annual Workshops in Archaeology virtually via teleconferercing on Saturday, October 30. Titled Hidden Stories: Uncovering African American History Through Archaeology and Community Engagement, this year’s workshops will feature an overview of several African American archaeological investigations and community archaeology projects in Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic.

The lives of African Americans prior to the 20th century are poorly documented in the historic record, which is frequently biased. In addition, the contributions of enslaved, indentured, and free African Americans are mostly missing from our history books and museum exhibits. This year’s day-long series of workshops will explore how archaeology can be used to help fill this gap in our understanding of past cultural behavior in Pennsylvania.

A highlight of the workshops will be Cheryl LaRoche, a founding member of the Society of Black Archaeologists who has consulted with numerous museums, archaeological and historical sites, as well as the National Park Service. Presenting the keynote “Free Black Communities and Archaeology,” LaRoche is a transdisciplinarian who believes that African American history permeates every facet of the American experience. She holds a Ph.D. in American studies with a concentration in archaeology and African American history.

Presented by The State Museum of Pennsylvania in association with the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation, the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, and the Pennsylvania Archaeological Council, the conference is a way to learn about projects and programs using archaeology to investigate African American history and encourage more similar projects in Pennsylvania.

The workshop will be held online to provide the greatest access to those interested in exploring African American archaeology and history. Suggested donation for registration is $25. For more information on specific sessions or to register for the virtual conference, visit