Archaeology dig

Center for Public Archaeology (CfPA)

Since opening in 2008, the Center for Public Archaeology (CfPA) at Hofstra University has actively collaborated with local organizations to design and execute archaeological projects on Long Island. Our research identifies sites once occupied by some of Long Island’s most historically marginalized groups, including free and enslaved African Americans, Native Americans, and the working class, to name a few. The objects and materials we recover from these sites provide an intimate look into the everyday lives these populations and others in ways that historical documents simply cannot, and therefore shed much-needed light onto their contributions to Long Island’s historical development.

As a campus center, the CfPA is dedicated to enhancing students’ learning experience at Hofstra University. Students involved with the CfPA gain meaningful experiences in anthropological archaeology, community involvement, and civic engagement. Many of these students become active citizens who use their education and skill to address contemporary social issues. At the very least, students learn to apply research in ways that mutually benefit academic and public communities.


CfPA is located at 208 Davison Hall on Hofstra’s South Campus, adjacent to Hofstra Hall and the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library.

General Information

The CfPA Laboratory is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday during the fall (September-December) and spring (February-May) semesters.

During the summer, faculty and interns are surveying sites, conducting excavations, visiting local archives, historical societies, libraries, and working with local organizations and communities. Please call or e-mail ahead of time if you plan to visit between May and August to ensure someone is here to welcome you.

Mission Statement

The Center for Public Archaeology is dedicated to engaging and collaborating with Long Island's descendant, minority, and marginalized groups whose histories are at risk of being lost or erased. In addition to reconstructing local histories and advancing their visibility and meaning, the CfPA vows to address everyday issues like racism, segregation, gentrification, and poverty with rigorous and scholarly research.