Archaeology Program

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Montgomery Parks’ Archaeology Program identifies, manages, and interprets archaeological sites on parkland and considers the effects of land use decisions on cultural resources. Research and excavations contribute to interpretation, public education programs, restorations, and park development plans.

The program provides for the stewardship of non-renewable archaeological resources and an opportunity for public participation in discovering our past right in your backyard. Learn more below.


Special Events | Summer Camps

Special Events

Discover Archaeology!
Zeigler Log House at Little Bennett Regional Park
10 am – 12:00 noon | $5 per person | Reservations required | Register at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org starting February 12

  • Saturday, April 7  | Course 45932
  • Saturday, May 19 | Course 45937

The whole family will enjoy learning the secrets of this historic rural farm with the help of professional archaeologists. Make new discoveries as you learn hands-on techniques, talk about and learn from the artifacts you might find. Tour the historic Ziegler Log House and investigate hidden clues that tell the story of its former residents. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a participating adult.

Family Archaeology Day
Needwood Mansion 6700 Needwood Rd, Derwood, MD
10 am – 3 pm | $10 per person | $20 family | Pay on-site. No Registration Required | Register at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org

  • Saturday, May 5 | Course 45940

Needwood Mansion opens its doors to the public for a day of investigating archaeology. Join 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 featuring:

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

Bring a bag lunch and stay for the day! Read about Family Archaeology Day.

NEW! Archaeology Detectives
Needwood Mansion, 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD
9 am – 3 pm | Ages 6 – 9 | Register at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org

  • July 2 – 6 | $240 | Course 44335
  • July 23 – 27 | $300 | Course 44336

Campers uncover clues left by people of the past! They will get hands-on experience learning about excavation and artifact identification. Each week we’ll take a field trip to a historical site.

NEW! Road Trippin’ to the Past!
Needwood Mansion, 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD
Tues. &  Thurs. 9 am – 3 pm, Wed. 8 am – 4 pm | $325 | Ages 9 – 13 | Register at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org

  • July 9 – 13 | Course 44341
  • August 20- 24 | Course 44342
  • August 27- 31| Course 44343

Hit the road with Parks Archaeologists on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail or follow in the footsteps of a Union soldier along the Potomac River. Tuesdays and Thursdays, we will explore the local area. Wednesdays, we will travel to places like the Jefferson Patterson Archaeological Park in Calvert County or the Gettysburg battlefields.

Questions? Contact us or call 301-563-7530

Archaeology Summer Camps

Needwood Mansion, 6700 Needwood Road, Derwood, MD

Find out what it takes to be an archaeologist! Investigate Montgomery County’s history from the ground up with archaeologists from Montgomery Parks. We host Summer Camps, Aftercare sessions, and Leadership Training Workshops. Registration starts January 16.

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

Camps for Children – 9 am – 3 pm | $300 | Ages 10 – 13

  • June 25 – 29 | Course 44328
  • July 16 – 20 | Course 44332
  • July 30 – August 3 | Course 44333

Get a hands-on introduction to archaeology. Work side-by-side with Park Archaeologists on a live archaeological site, and do what archaeologists do. You’ll dig it! Reduced fees are available for qualified applicants. Registration starts January 16 at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org.

Camps Aftercare – 3:00 – 5:30 pm | Available for all youth and teen courses

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. Registration starts January 16 at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org.

Leadership Training Workshop – 8:30 am – 3:30 pm | $300 | Ages 14+

  • June 18 – 22 | Course 44327

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. Registration starts January 16 at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org.

Camp Assistant Program* – 8:30 – 3:30 pm | Ages 14+ | Pre-requisite: Leadership Training

  • June 25 – August 3
  • August 20 – 31

Brought to you by: M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks and The Archaeology Society of Maryland, Mid-Potomac Chapter. These events are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Board of Education of Montgomery County, the superintendent or school.

Questions? Contact us or call 301-563-7530.

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Last Updated: January 31, 2018