The Sam Davis Home Slave Quarters Archaeological Project

June 7-July 9, 2004


A cooperative project of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Middle Tennessee State University and the Sam Davis Memorial Association

Project Director: Kevin E. Smith, Professor of Anthropology

This is an archive of the 2004 Sam Davis Home Slave Quarter Project -- a cooperative archaeological research project sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Middle Tennessee State University and the Sam Davis Memorial Association. The field project began June 7 and ran through July 9, 2004.

The primary objectives of the project were:

  1. To locate and investigate the archaeological remains of some of the fourteen residences that housed over 50 enslaved African-Americans from about 1850-1865;
  2. To provide university students with training in the methods and techniques of professional field and laboratory archaeology;
  3. Through public tours, to highlight the significance of the Sam Davis Home and ALL of its residents (black and white) in local, state, and national history;
  4. To emphasize to the interested public the value of archaeological research on relatively recent historical sites;
  5. To gather sufficient detailed information to develop new exhibits on the houses and daily lives of the African-Americans who lived at the Sam Davis farm.

Information and objects produced during the course of this archaeological project contributed substantially to the development of the permanent exhibit "Recovering their Story: African Americans on the Davis Plantation, 1850-1925" developed by Dr. Bren Martin and students at Middle Tennessee State University. The exhibit was installed in the visitor center at the Sam Davis Home in 2006 and received the "Best Small Museum Permanent Exhibit for 2006" from the Tennessee Association of Museums.


Who was Sam Davis?

Project Crew


Daily Journal
June/July 2004

At the end of each day, a short narrative and a few photographs of the day's work were posted. Click on the date links to view specific days or [Click here] to browse the entire field season.


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Web Design by Kevin E. Smith kevin.smith@mtsu.edu