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The RMSC Museum & Science Center will be closed on Mondays for the remainder of the school year. We will be open on select school holidays. Please contact us at if you have any questions.

August 26, 2021

Uncover the Past During Cumming Nature Center’s Family Archaeology Days

ROCHESTER, NY, August 26, 2021 – Visitors can get their hands dirty and uncover real artifacts during Family Archaeology Days at Rochester Museum and Science Center’s (RMSC) Cumming Nature Center (CNC). On Saturday, September 11, and Sunday, September 12, guests will experience scientific discovery in real time through hands-on, guided excavation of a 19th century homestead located at CNC.

During the event, guests will assist in literally (and figuratively) piecing together the story of a Euro-American migrant family homestead from the 19th century. This work will complement the multi-year study of the ​​Hall Homestead, also located at the Nature Center, conducted by the Archaeology Field School at the College at Brockport, State University of New York (SUNY Brockport).

“There’s no better way to engage and inspire tomorrow’s archaeologists and scientists than giving them opportunities to explore the field through hands-on, guided experiences like this,” said Sarah Jacoby Murphy, Communications and Events Manager at CNC. “Not only does this event build cultural awareness and encourage visitors to explore the diverse field of archaeology, it also allows CNC and our visitors to actively take part in meaningful research and collaborate with local scholars.”

Dr. Alexander Smith, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Brockport, has been working with the Nature Center to study the historic Frost Town property for over 4 years. Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. from the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University in 2015. He studies the persistence of indigenous culture in the face of Carthaginian and Roman colonial interactions in the late first century B.C.E. in the Mediterranean, as well as the social and environmental impacts of 19th-century Euro-American expansion in Western New York. This will be his third year participating in this family-friendly event.

Family Archaeology Days tickets are sold in 1.5 hour time slots for groups up to six people. Tickets are $20 per group. It is recommended that guests wear clothes that can get dirty and bring water. All excavation supplies are provided by CNC.

While this program is suitable for all ages, the meticulous nature of excavation may not appeal to all children. There will be practice excavation pits for any free-spirited diggers.

For more information, go to

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