Elizabeth Seidel

  • Archaeology Lab Director; Senior Staff Archaeologist



Elizabeth (Liz) Seidel joined Washington College in 1999 and established a public archaeology laboratory to support the newly created archaeology program. In the Lab Ms. Seidel manages the processing of materials recovered from our regional excavations, while training students and engaging members of the community who are interested in the archaeological process.

Seidel began her career in archaeology more than 30 years ago as a volunteer at the Baltimore Center for Urban Archaeology, quickly moving up the ranks to become a staff archaeologist, historian, and Public Education Coordinator. Her work engaging the public on urban sites continued when she joined the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland College Park and its internationally known program, Archaeology in Annapolis. Liz was the Assistant Site Director for one its most ambitious projects, the Annapolis Courthouse Excavation, where she conducted excavations and directed the lab analysis and report writing.


Ms. Seidel’s initial training in archaeology was gained on-site while working for the Baltimore Center for Urban Archaeology. Throughout her 32 years in the field, she has completed a variety of classes and certification programs. Her rapid progress and achievements in her field, despite the non-traditional educational background, illustrate the value of dedication and discipline. Liz often uses her unusual trajectory as a “teachable moment” for students.

Career Highlights

  • Administrator - Historic Sites Consortium of Queen Anne’s County, Chester, MD. 1998 to 1999
  • Executive Director - Historical Society of Kent County, Chestertown, MD. 1998. 
  • Education Director - London Town Foundation, Edgewater, MD. 1997-1998. 
  • Archaeologist & Public Education Coordinator - Lost Towns Project, Anne Arundel. 1996-1997. 
  • Archaeologist & Public Education Coordinator - University of Maryland College Park & Archaeology in Annapolis, College Park and Annapolis, MD. 1994-1996. 
  • Archaeologist/Public Education Coordinator/Historian - The Baltimore City Life Museums’ Center for Urban Archaeology, Baltimore, MD. 1987-1994. 

Areas of Expertise

In addition to her expertise in the field and the lab, Ms. Seidel’s skills include historical research, marine archaeology, and 18th and 19th century ceramics.

Research Interests

Ms. Seidel loves a good mystery – especially an archaeological/historical one. Her current research is focused on the short-lived town of New Yarmouth (c.1676-1696), which pre-dated Chestertown. Its exact location had been a bit of a controversy until her sleuthing through early deeds and court records provided the smoking gun necessary to pin down the location of the 100 acre town.

Opportunities for Student Involvement 

Ms. Seidel’s work in the Public Archaeology Lab provides numerous opportunities for WAC students and community members. Whether it’s working with artifact collections to identify, catalogue and analyze excavated materials; learning the ins and outs of historical research; gaining experience with public outreach by conducting lab tours or working with visiting school groups; designing lab displays and exhibits; and of course, conducting excavations, there’s always something interesting to dig into in the Lab.

Published Works

Ms. Seidel has authored or co-authored 20 reports, as well as numerous monographs and professional papers and has delivered more than 15 workshops to professionals, students and the general public.

Courses Taught

In addition to one-on-one teaching and mentoring students in the Public Archaeology Lab, Ms. Seidel, along with her colleagues from the Anthropology Department, co-teaches the Washington College Summer Field School in Archaeology. She also conducts teacher training courses, workshops, and hands-on experiences for K-12 classes.