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Cheryl Janifer LaRoche, Ph.D.

Archaeologist Dr. LaRoche is the Principal Investigator for the Hampton Ethnographic and Assessment Project for the National Park Service and the University of Maryland. The project she is leading is responsible for recovering genealogical and biographical resources pertaining to more than 300 people enslaved at the Maryland plantation site. She served as the Project Historian for the Cultural Expressions exhibition for the Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She has consulted for numerous museums, historic sites, and archaeological projects including the African American Museum in Boston, the President’s House in Philadelphia, and the African Burial Ground in New York City. On multiple occasions, she has contributed to the study of Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad sites for the National Park Service. She has researched and mapped African American historical sites and the Underground Railroad for the past seventeen years and has traveled across the country, from Canada and New England to the Mississippi River and beyond, researching, physically exploring and writing about 18th and 19th century Black landscapes, churches, cemeteries and institutions. Dr. LaRoche is in the Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park. The Society for Historical Archaeology awarded LaRoche the John L. Cotter Award for her exemplary work in bringing a multidisciplinary approach to the study of African American archaeology. Her first book is Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance.