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Archeaology dig at Oakley CabinArchaeology Program


Archaeology is history ... from the ground up!

Montgomery Park's Archaeology Program identifies, manages, and interprets archaeological sites on parkland and provides opportunities to consider the effects of land use decisions on cultural resources. Excavations contribute to public education programs, restorations, park development plans and mitigation of construction projects. The program provides for the stewardship of non-renewable archaeological resources and an opportunity for public participation in discovering our human past right in your back yard.

Summer Camps


What do archaeologists really do?

Find out what it takes to be an archaeologist! Investigate Montgomery County’s history from the ground up with archeologists from M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks. We host Summer Camps, Extended Care sessions and Leadership Workshops. Archaeology camps are approved for SSL hours and fulfill most requirements for a Boy Scout Archaeology Merit Badge.

Archaeology Leadership Training Workshop

Needwood Mansion 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD
Monday - Friday | 8:00 am to 4:00 pm | Ages 14 and up | $405.00
- Register at
Want to become an awesome camp counselor, get hands-on archaeological experience and earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours? Sign up for this ten-day workshop! In the first week, you'll learn the basics of archaeological methods, get CPR training, and practice creating and planning camp activities. The second week we'll dig into the real thing! You'll work with campers, and have an opportunity to ask questions and get feedback in our counselors' afternoon roundtables.

  • June 20 – July 1- course # 12379

Examing a sampleDay Camps

Needwood Mansion 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD
Monday through Friday | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm | Ages 9 to 13 | sessions $280.00
- Register at
Get a hands-on introduction to archaeology in this 5-day camp. Work side-by-side with Park Archaeologists on a real-live archaeological site, and do what archaeologists do. You'll dig it! Reduced fees are available for qualified applicants.

  • Session 1 – June 27 to July 1 course # 12363
  • Session 2 – July 5 to July 8 course # 12377 ($224.00*)
  • Session 3 – July 11 to 15 course # 12375
  • Session 4 – July 18 to 22 course # 12376
  • Session 5 – July 25 to 29 course # 12361

* Session 2 prices are reduced. This session runs 4-days only due to the July 4th holiday - Day Camp $216.00

Extended Care Sessions

Needwood Mansion 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD
Monday through Friday | 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm | $115.00 per session
- Register at
Kids can practice their atlatl skills (a prehistoric hunting weapon), go on a scavenger hunt, take a paddleboat ride on Lake Needwood, play a board game and more during this supervised free time.

  • Session 1 – June 27 to July 1 course # 12364
  • Session 2 – July 5 to July 8 course # 12367 ($90.00*)
  • Session 3 – July 11 to 15 course # 12365
  • Session 4 – July 18 to 22 course # 12366
  • Session 5 – July 25 to 29 course # 12362

* Session 2 prices are reduced. This session runs 4-days only due to the July 4th holiday - Camp $216.00 | Extended Care $80.00. These events are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Board of Education of Montgomery county, the superintendent or school.

Ongoing Projects

The 2015 Montgomery County History Conference video link
2015 Montgomery County History Conference presentation, "Josiah Henson Revisited".

Josiah Henson Site

Located in North Bethesda, Josiah Henson Park is the site where Josiah Henson - escaped slave, minister, abolitionist, and late 19th century celebrity - was enslaved between c. 1800-1830. This area was once known as theRiley Farm and covered almost 300 acres, MontgomeryParks owns the Riley residence and about2 of the surrounding acres. Ongoing archaeological excavations have revealed that partsof the Riley plantation remain intact, covered by the green lawns of modernsuburban lots.

The Archaeology Program is currently working on several ongoing research andeducation projects to explore the past in Montgomery County. Parks staff members. Jamie Kuhns and Cassandra Michaud, presented the current research on the Josiah Henson site at the 2015 Montgomery County History Conference. - watch the video

Time Team America bannerTime Team America at Josiah Henson Park

"The Search For Josiah Henson" - PBS Documentary
The Josiah Henson Park archaeological site was one of four American sites selected in 2012 by Time Team America for inclusion in their second season. Time Team America brought their high-tech equipment to help us learn more about a very special man in American history, the Reverend Josiah Henson. Henson was a former slave whose autobiography inspired the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin."

Visit the Time Team America website to learn more about "The Search for Josiah Henson." Explore the over-the-archaeologists'-shoulder view of discoveries made at our very own Josiah Henson Park in the documentary, "The Search for Josiah Henson." Please follow the schedule of special events for the Josiah Henson Park to find out dates when the documentary will also be shown on site.

Oakley Cabin

Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park is a 19th century African American historical archaeological site in Brookeville, Maryland. Montgomery Parks archaeologists have been investigating the area around the existingcabin, as well as two adjacent cabinsthat once stood along Brookeville Road. Thanks to a grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Montgomery Parks isable to revisit Oakley’s extensive archaeological collection. The goal is to catalog and analyze the artifacts that have been recovered over the years, and continue to research the vibrant African American community that lived here during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Bussard Farm House Kitchen

Parks Archaeologists excavated under the kitchen wing of the Bussard Farmstead at the Agricultural History Farm Park during the recent renovations by the Cultural Resources Stewardship Section. The goal of the excavation was to identify any previous structures, and to aid in the interpretation of Bussard Farm House through the artifacts. Excavations revealed a chimney collapse from the original farm house, as well as thousands of artifacts related to the late 18th-19th century residents' lives, including buttons, pins, animal bones, ceramic items, and glass ware. Artifacts from the siteare in the process ofbeing cataloged and analyzed, and will help tell the story of life at the Bussard Farm.

Zeigler Log House

During the last few years, Montgomery College students and Montgomery Parks Archaeology Camp participants have unearthed clues about the Zeigler Log House’s past. These clues, in the form of artifacts and features, are giving us a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived at the site for over 180 years. We have concentrated on the back and side yards of the house and have found traces of outbuildings and walkways. We are just at the beginning of cataloging and analyzing the data. Our goal is to complete the picture of life on a historic rural farm in northern Montgomery County.

Palmer-Robinson Rockshelter

Located along the Potomac River and used at various times during the past 5000 years, this rockshelter was excavated in the early 2000s. Artifacts recovered include projectile points, Native American ceramic fragments, animal bone, and debitage (waste material from the manufacture of stone tools). The current project involves analyzing the artifacts and highlightingthis little-known period of Montgomery County's past through a report and public displays. Summer Camp Registration Promo


Volunteers are one of our best assets!
Montgomery Parks encourages the involvement and participation of individuals of all ages in its program. - Contact Us

Ways to Participate

Volunteering at Needwood Archaeology Lab
Wednesdays, from 9:30 am - 2:30 pm

Needwood Mansion, 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD 20855 - google map
We are currently cataloging artifacts from a variety of projects. Volunteers can also participate in public outreach programs throughout the year, and excavations during the summer.

Camps and High School Programs

Since 1984, High School students have broadened their curriculum through our award-winning volunteer program specifically aimed at younger audiences.

ASM Mid-Potomac Chapter

You can also join in the fun through a cooperative venture with Archaeological Society of Maryland Mid-Potomac Chapter.

Metal Detecting in Parks

The M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks Rules and Regulations on metal detecting and digging on park property is outlined in CHAPTER V: Regulation of General Conduct and Personal Behavior (Code of Conduct) under Section 19. Metal Detectors, Digging: Using metal detectors and/or digging into the surface of Park Property is prohibited except by permit.

Contact Us

M-NCPPC, Montgomery Parks - Archaeology Program
Needwood Mansion, 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, Maryland 20855 | 301-563-7530 (main line) - google map

  • Heather Bouslog, Co-Lead, Senior Archaeologist - Camp Director and Volunteer Coordinator, Public Education, and General Inquiries
    301-563-7531 |
  • Cassandra Michaud, Co-Lead, Senior Archaeologist, RPA - Park Development, Regulatory Review, Technical Assistance, and General Inquiries
    301-563-7532 |

Last Update: June 2, 2016