Buried in the Past: Uncovering Black History with Archaeology


Buried in the Past: Uncovering Black History with Archaeology

Understand how Black culture developed in Kentucky from enslavement to segregation through Kentucky's historic and archaeological resources.

What You Will Learn

This talk will focus on how archaeology is used to learn about Black history in Kentucky, featuring information from various archaeological sites excavated in Kentucky.  There will be a brief introduction to historical archaeology and its role in documenting the lives and culture of people in the past and how that affects people in the present.  There will be a discussion of Black history in Kentucky beginning with enslavement on Kentucky plantations, then the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow from an archaeological perspective.  Finally, there will be a brief examination of how archaeology is being used to advocate for communities in the present.


M. Jay Stottman is the assistant director of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey at Western Kentucky University, whose mission is focused on assisting communities, public archaeology, education, and service.  Dr. Stottman was born and lives in Louisville.  He has a B.A. from the University of Louisville, MA and PhD from the University of Kentucky – all in Anthropology.  His interests are in the archaeology of urban neighborhoods, plantations, buildings, and public and activist archaeology.  He has worked on archaeological sites through Kentucky over the last 35 years and helped develop and run an archaeology field trip program for schools at Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing.  He edited the 2010 book Archaeologists as Activists: Can Archaeologists Change the World?

Additional Info

To learn more about Kentucky archaeology visit Discover Kentucky Archaeology:

To learn more about the Kentucky Archaeological Survey:

The Louisville Coalition on the History of Enslavement:

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