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Sara Bon-Harper

Research Professor

Phone: 434-293-8000
Email: [[w|sebonharper]]
Area of Specialization: Landscape dynamics and meaning; research design; archaeological ceramics: production and use; spatial analysis: refuse patterns, middens and yards, plowzone analysis; creation of historical narratives for public and professional audiences.

BA University of Arizona (Anthropology and Classics) 1989
PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Anthropology) 1999
Sara Bon-Harper is the Executive Director of James Monroe's Highland in Albemarle County, Virginia, focusing on strategic vision and museum leadership at the historic site, which is a department of William & Mary. She is an archaeologist with research experience in the historic period in Virginia, and on peripheries in the Roman world. The research she directs at Highland has recently transformed the understanding of the property, and contributes to new insight on James Monroe. Her focus at Highland is interpreting current research, including creating a new set of inclusive narratives about the past. Ms. Bon-Harper earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Classics from the University of Arizona. She has taught at the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina, and conducted archaeological research and trained students in Europe and North America. As Monticello's Archaeological Research Manager (1999-2012), she led a team investigating lost elements of the plantation landscape, and developed a passion for reaching varied audiences through interpretation of research. Her prior work focused on Roman peripheries in Italy and France, and on the disenfranchised in state societies, with topical expertise in archaeological ceramics and research methods. She has lectured and written on a variety of themes, including the analysis of archaeological data, landscapes of slavery, and the construction of historic narratives. She serves on the State Review Board for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and on the board of the Presidential Precinct. She is committed to inspiring imaginations and broadening interest in the exploration of the past.