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Historian / Principal Investigator

Partner and Senior Researcher Matthew R. Laird has the benefit both of academic training and practical experience in the fields of history and archaeology. He earned a Ph.D. in American History with a specialization in Early American History from the College of William & Mary in 1995. While pursuing graduate studies, he completed an internship program in historical archaeology with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and worked as a field archaeologist with Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown Rediscovery Project. Dr. Laird has taught university-level courses and archaeological field schools, served as a freelance historical consultant, and authored a number of articles for academic and popular history publications.

Since 1995, Dr. Laird has pursued a career in cultural resource management as a principal investigator and historian. He has directed CRM projects involving the full range of prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, standing structures, and cultural landscapes, and has authored numerous technical reports, research designs, and historic contexts. As Senior Researcher, Dr. Laird produces historical research to support JRIA’s projects, and develops interpretive material for both popular and scholarly audiences, including stand-alone historical studies, lectures, and exhibits. He specializes in conducting documentary and cartographic research, and has ready access to a wide range of research facilities, including the National Archives, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, state historic preservation offices, historical societies, museums, and research libraries. With his varied experience in scholarship, teaching, and cultural resource management, Dr. Laird has a strong interest in communicating the results of his archaeological and historical research to professionals and non-specialists alike.

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