Fraser Neiman (Ph.D. Yale, 1990) is director of archaeology at Monticello and lecturer in the Departments of Anthropology and Architectural History at the University of Virginia, where he teaches courses in archaeology and quantitative methods.
Neiman’s Monticello research is structured around three ongoing initiatives. The Plantation Archaeological Survey aims to locate all archaeological sites located on the two thousand-acre core of Jefferson’s Monticello Plantation. The Plantation Landscape History Initiative focuses on advancing our understanding of Monticello Plantation’s ecology in the past and present. The Quarter-Farm Household Archaeology Initiative is designed to elucidate the lives of enslaved field workers and overseers who lived and labored on the quarter farms during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Monticello’s archaeology department is also home to the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS). DAACS is a collaborative experiment in the use of internet technologies to promote comparative, quantitative, and synthetic study of archaeological data from sites occupied by enslaved Africans and their descendants in the Chesapeake, Carolinas, and the Caribbean. DAACS is supported by Monticello and a series of major grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A key focus of DAACS’s Caribbean research is a comparative study of variation in plantation spatial organization and market participation by slaves on Jamaica and Nevis.