Douglas W. Sanford

Douglas Sanford
  • Historic Preservation
  • Academic Degrees

    • B.A., The College of William and Mary
    • M.A., University of Pennsylvania
    • Ph.D., M.A., University of Virginia
  • Areas of Expertise

    • Historic Preservation
    • Archaeological Research
    • Archaeology of Slave-Related African-American Sites

Douglas W. Sanford, Professor of Historic Preservation, earned a Ph.D. (1995) and an M.A. (1987) in anthropology from the University of Virginia, an M.A. (1979) in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. (1974) in anthropology from the College of William and Mary. Dr. Sanford has conducted archaeological research in Brazil, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and within Virginia at the Yorktown Battlefield, Monticello, and in the Northern Neck area.

In 2007, Dr. Sanford led a National Endowment for the Humanities grant project concerning slave housing in Virginia ( He recently received an award of a semester sabbatical from UMW to research slave housing in the Chesapeake region and the archeology of slave-related African-American sites in Virginia.

Prior projects include archaeological research and historic preservation services conducted for the City of Fredericksburg, Prince William County, Richmond County, Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center, and Stratford Hall Plantation.

Among Dr. Sanford’s professional publications are “Historical Archaeology and Theoretical Excursions in the Middle Atlantic Region” in the Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology and “The Archaeology of Plantation Slavery in Piedmont Virginia: Context and Process” in the book Historical Archaeology of the Chesapeake. In addition, Dr. Sanford contributed the article “Slave Housing” to The World of Slave: Encyclopedia of the Material Life of Slaves in the United States (2011). Much of the information for his article developed out of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant project co-headed by Dr. Sanford. Dr. Sanford’s doctoral thesis was “The Archaeology of Plantation Slavery at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello: Context and Process in an American Slave Society.”