Natural History Society of Maryland: The Man Who Stole the Past: The Yinger Assault on the Hughes Site

Date: February 21, 2019

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location: The Natural History Society of Maryland, Belair Road, Baltimore, MD, USA

In the early 1940s, NHSM staff archaeologist Richard Stearns read an article in the newspaper about a sewing machine repairman from Frederick, Maryland who discovered a Native American village on the banks of the Potomac River. The man, Nicholas Yinger, had excavated numerous Native American burials, and was selling the human remains for profit. What happened next is a story about human delusion, ethical compromise, lost opportunities, and the importance of rigorous protections for irreplaceable archaeological resources.

Join Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer, a husband-and-wife team who are passionate archaeologists, as they take us through the history of the Hughes Site, what happened, and what it all means for those of us living in the present day.

Cost: $10 NHSM Members / $15 Non-NHSM Members / $5 Children (16 and under)
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Lisa Kraus, co-founder and Project Director of the Herring Run Archaeology Project, holds a Ph.D. in anthropology and historical archaeology from the University of Texas at Austin and completed her undergraduate degree in anthropology at the College of William and Mary. She has been working in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1999, and previously worked in the Four Corners Region of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico with the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Kraus currently works as an archaeologist for the Maryland Environmental Service/Maryland State Highway Administration. She has a particular interest in public archaeology, archaeology of the African Diaspora, and archaeology of the Chesapeake region. In addition to her volunteer work with the Herring Run Archaeology Project, Dr. Kraus is the co-curator of archaeology at the Natural History Society of Maryland.

Jason Shellenhamer, co-founder and Project Director of the Herring Run Archaeology Project, completed his Master’s of Applied Anthropology at the University of Maryland in 2004. Prior to arriving in Maryland, he obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College. Mr. Shellenhamer is currently the Senior Project Archaeologist at the Baltimore Headquarters of Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP. His projects have included excavations at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Historic Park, Antietam National Battlefield, the Peterson House at Ford’s Theatre National Historical Site, and the excavations of the Baltimore defenses in Patterson Park during the War of 1812. Mr. Shellenhamer also serves as the co-curator of archaeology at the Natural History Society of Maryland.
The Natural History Society of Maryland is a mostly volunteer-led organization and all fees will go directly to support the programs, the nature collections, and the building that make this kind of nature education possible. Donate or become a member of the Natural History Society of Maryland by visiting We appreciate your support!

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