Participatory Science ProjectEnvironmental Archaeology at SERC
Sellman House

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

About the Project

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 volunteer 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 volunteer scientists gather could be used to address similar problems we face today.

Archaeologist Jim Gibb is collaborating with volunteers to explore this vast and beautiful land.  There are three major areas of research that they are currently investigating on SERC property:

  • Erosion and sedimentation
  • Species diversity
  • Coal usage

History of Sellman Plantation

The Sellman family 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.