Dr. Leone is interested in critical theory, as it applies to archaeology, and particularly, to historical archaeology. He has directed Archaeology in Annapolis since 1981. This project focuses on the historical archaeology of Annapolis and features the use of critical theory. New graduate students are welcome to the project, particularly if their intention is to earn a doctorate. Not only does Leone recruit potential doctoral students into the archaeology of Maryland's capital city, but he also uses the opportunity to co-author scholarly pieces with them. The Department of Anthropology runs a well-known, six week archaeological field school in Annapolis each summer. The field school is open to graduate students, as well as undergraduates. Leone is committed to public interpretation of archaeology and welcomes graduate students who are interested in learning about the relationship between public interpretation and the politics of Archaeology.
Archaeology in Annapolis is co-sponsored by Historic Annapolis Foundation, which offers rich potential and practical experience for public outreach. Two archaeological laboratories, one on the University campus, and one in Annapolis, offer opportunities for analysis and interpretation. These opportunities are directed and coordinated by Dr. Jessica Neuwirth.
Since 2000, Mark Leone has also directed research on Maryland’s Eastern Shore at William Paca’s 1792 plantation on Wye Island, as well as at the Wye House Plantation, where Frederick Douglass was enslaved as a child.
Dr. Leone has helped to sponsor the building of an up-to-date Geographic Information System (GIS), for the Historic District of Annapolis, Preservation Web GIS. This work is currently supervised by Joseph Muller who teaches AutoCAD and GIS courses for the Department of Anthropology. The Department has strong relations with the Maryland Department of Transportation to build GIS databases, a tie that produces employment opportunities for students.
As director of Archaeology in Annapolis, Mark Leone also oversees the management of the Archaeology in Annapolis Blog and a searchable online database of the enslaved at the Wye House Plantation, People of Wye House.