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Archeaology dig at Oakley CabinArchaeology Program


Archaeology is history ... from the ground up!

M-NCPPC 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.

Since 1984, high school students have broadened their curriculum through our award-winning volunteer program. The Department of Parks provides projects in fieldwork and laboratory analysis and a fieldschool experience through our camps. Adults can also join in the fun through a cooperative venture with the Archaeology Society of Maryland Mid-Potomac Chapter.

Time Team America at Josiah Henson Park!

Time Team America banner

"The Search For Josiah Henson" - PBS Documentary

The Josiah Henson Park archaeological site was one of four American sites selected 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."The Search for Josiah Henson", is an over-the-archaeologists'-shoulder view of discoveries made at our very own Josiah Henson Park! Click here to watch the Time Team America episode, "The Search for Josiah Henson." (54:36)

MEDIA NOTICE:, July 10, 2014 - Montgomery Parks Josiah Henson Park Will Be Profiled on National Broadcast of PBS Series Time Team America on August 19; Program Uncovers New Evidence Related to the Site’s History
ONLINE BLOG:, August 18, 2014 - PBS Goes on Archaeological Dig for Josiah Henson - Escaped Slave Who Inspired 'Uncle Tom’s Cabin' (Watch)
ONLINE ARTICLE:, July 10, 2014 - PBS To Premiere Show On Eventful Dig At Josiah Henson Park
ONLINE ARTICLE:, February 10, 2014 - A Historic Gem In Bethesda’s Backyard
ONLINE ARTICLE:, February 5, 2014 - Officials Unveil Designs For Josiah Henson Museum In North Bethesda
ONLINE ARTICLE:, August 13, 2012 - Structure found in Md. may be linked to man who inspired 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'

Events & Camps



Archaeology Labnight

Tuesday, April 7 | 7 pm - 9 pm | FREE - RSVP needed
Needwood Mansion 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD
Participants will learn first-hand what happens to artifacts after they are brought in from the field as they work side-by-side with archaeologists to identify and catalogue artifacts from our archaeological sites.

RSVP to | 301-563-7530

History in the Parks - Opening Day Celebrations Weekend

April 10-12 | Most events are FREE
It’s that time of year again! Montgomery Parks invites you to welcome back spring and join in the celebration of the reopening of our History in the Park Events Season at our Opening Day Celebrations Weekend.

Featuring: Underground Railroad Experience Trail Special Night Hike and guided hikes | Oakley Cabin African dance workshop, cabin tours, crafts, games for children, archaeology dig, Kingsley Schoolhouse, Harper Cabin and Josiah Henson Park historic site tours.

Examing a sample Family Archaeology Day

Saturday, May 2 | 10 am – 3 pm | $8 per person | $15 family at the event
Needwood Mansion 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD

Needwood Mansion opens its doors to the public for a day of investigating archaeology. Visitors are invited to see and experience what archaeologists do. Watch archaeologists at work on the Needwood Excavation and try your hand at a simulated excavation, while the younger set digs in mock excavation pits.

Join the costumed interpreters in a tour of the 1854 "Sunnyside" house. Visit the Civil War Surgeon Dr. Stonestreet and soldiers encamped in the yard. An introduction to archaeology for all ages, Family Archaeology Day features

  • 19th century Slave Quarters Dig Exhibit
  • Mansion Tours
  • Simulated Archaeology Dig for Children
  • Storytelling, Old-time games, Hands-on Crafts, and Atl-atl tossing

Bring a bag lunch and stay for the day! Email for more information.

Brought to you by: M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks and The Archaeology Society of Maryland, Mid-Potomac Chapter

Archaeology Summer Camps & Aftercare

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 both spring break and summer camps. Archaeology camps are approved for SSL hours and fulfill most requirements for a Boy Scout Archaeology Merit Badge.

Archaeology Leader Training Workshop
Needwood Mansion 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD
Monday - Friday | 8:00 am to 4:00 pm | Ages 14 and up | $395.0
0 - 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 15 to 26 - parkpass #308449

Archaeology Camps for Children
Needwood Mansion 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD
Monday through Friday | 9:00am to 3:00pm | Ages 9 to 13 | sessions $270.00
- 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 22 to 26 parkpass # 308399
  • Session 2 – June 29 to July 2 parkpass # 308400 *
  • Session 3 – July 6 to 10 parkpass # 308401
  • Session 4 – July 13 to 17 parkpass # 308402
  • Session 5 – July 20 to 24 parkpass # 308403

* 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 | 3:00pm to 5:30pm | $100.00 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 22 to 26 parkpass # 308404
  • Session 2 – June 29 to July 2 # 308405 *
  • Session 3 – July 6 to 10 parkpass # 308406
  • Session 4 – July 13 to 17 parkpass # 308407
  • Session 5 – July 20 to 24 parkpass # 308408
  • * Session 2 prices are reduced. This session runs 4-days only due to the July 4th holiday - Extended Care $80.00

These events are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Board of Education of Montgomery county, the superintendent or school.

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Montgomery Parks Summer Camps Registration!

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Summer Camps Registration Is Underway at Montgomery Parks!

Montgomery Parks offers fun-filled half- and whole-day summer camps throughout June, July and most of August. Camps are open to all children in Montgomery County, Frederick County, Howard County, Prince George's and beyond. Be sure to check out Camps that offer Early Bird Registration discounts! It's easy to find your favorite camps with our new search tool. Click to start your search!


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

  • Where: Activities are based out of Needwood Mansion, 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD
    Depending on the weather and the work requirements, we will either be in the lab or in the field.
  • Time: Wednesdays mornings from 9:30 am - 2:30 pm

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.

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Last Update: March 24, 2015