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Dr. Michael T. Lucas

Curator of Historical Archaeology

B.S., Anthropology/Sociology, 1988, University of South Dakota
M.A.A., Anthropology, 1995, University of Maryland
Ph.D., American Studies, 2008, University of Maryland

My research is broadly focused on the history and archaeology of the early colonies in North America from the last quarter of the seventeenth century to the American Revolution. I am particularly interested in the exploitation of labor during the eighteenth century. New York is replete with archaeological sites where indentured servitude, slavery, and wage labor were employed. Examples include mills, farms, city docks, and many other sites of production and distribution. Studying the material objects recovered and the arrangement of buildings and other landscape features documented at these sites is important for understanding how laboring families constructed their lives. Museum collections and archaeological field data are used to explore the material realities of life on the economic margins of society. This research contributes to our understanding of the consequences of slavery and other exploitative labor practices in colonial New York during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.


Lucas, M.T., 2023. A Place for African American Agricultural Heritage: The Lives and Landscapes of the Powell Family of Watervliet. The Bulletin and Journal of the New York State Archaeological Association 137, 60-78.
Lucas, M.T., Kirk, M., 2023. Enslavement and Autonomy in Late Eighteenth-Century Albany, New York. Historical Archaeology. doi:10.1007/s41636-023-00424-0
Lucas, M.T., Traudt, K.S., 2021. A Mid-Seventeenth-Century Drinking House in New Netherland, in: Lukezic, C., McCarthy, J.P. (Eds.), The Archaeology Of New Netherland: A World Built On Trade. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL, pp. 72-90.
Winchell-Sweeney, S., O'Connell, K., Lucas, M.T., 2020. Non-Destructive Archaeological Surveys at the Douw 1 Site. The Bulletin: Journal of the New York State Archaeological Association 134, 49-60.
Lucas, M.T., 2019. Charles Town: The Anatomy of a Public Place in Early Tidewater Maryland, in: McKnight, M.D. (Ed.), The Archaeology Of Colonial Maryland: Five Essays By Scholars Of The Early Province. The Maryland Historical Trust Press, Crownsville, Maryland, pp. 114-139.
Lucas, M.T., Schablitsky, J.M. (Eds.), 2017. Archaeology of the War of 1812, paperback. ed. Routledge, New York, New York.