Citizen Science ProjectEnvironmental Archaeology at SERC
Sellman House

This is the Sellman House (a.k.a. Homestead House).

The Sellman Plantation, located on the SERC campus, is made up of 500 acres of mainly farmland and the historic Sellman House. The area is full of history just waiting to be explored, and that is exactly what citizen scientists are doing as part of several active archaeology projects at the plantation. All of the projects study the relationship between the land and the people that lived on it. Environmental archaeology is important because it allows us to study the complex ways in which humans in the past interacted with the environment. The information citizen scientists gather could be used to address similar problems we face today.

SERC archaeologist Jim Gibb is leading this effort to explore this vast and beautiful land.  There are three major research questions that examine:
-Erosion and sedimentation
-Species diversity
-Coal usage

Volunteers and scientists are trying to answer these questions by digging up artifacts and examining soil at the site. If you’ve ever wanted to get involved in archaeology, check out the pages on the right for more information!

History of Sellman Plantation
The Sellman family has owned and lived on this property for almost 200 years (1729-c.1916). They sold it to the Kirkpatrick-Howat family, who owned the land until SERC acquired it in 2008. We do not know as much about the residents before the Sellmans, which is part of what the excavation hopes to uncover.
Learn more about the property in this SERC blog post.

Want to get involved?
Learn about the schedule, eligibility, and what volunteers do (and why they’re so important to this project) here.

The archaeology group hosts digs every Wednesday from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m., as well as some weekend dates. Please contact Alison Cawood (, 443-482-2271) to sign up or for more information.