Western Michigan University will host its 44th annual archaeological field school in partnership with the City of Niles under the auspices of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project, an award-winning, community-based research program aimed at investigating and interpreting the 18th century French trading post of Fort St. Joseph. Discovered in 1998, the site has yielded significant evidence of colonial life on the frontier of New France in the form of domestic, commercial, and religious artifacts; architectural remains and other features; and a well-preserved assemblage of plant and animal remains. Students receive training in site survey, excavation, data recovery, recordation, artifact identification, curation, community outreach, and public interpretation. In addition, enrolled students have the opportunity to assist in training middle/high school students and lifelong learners in archaeological techniques, thereby reinforcing their own learning. They also benefit from attending a public lecture series and participating in preparations for an archaeology open house in which they present their findings to a public audience of all ages. The 2019 field school will work to identify further architectural evidence at the Fort and search for the southern boundaries of the site and other archaeological remains associated with fur trade activities in the region.
Registration in the field school is open to all University students in good standing. Students can earn 6 college credits for the cost of WMU tuition and a $500 course fee that covers transportation, equipment, and housing. Applications are available through Western Michigan University after February 1, 2019 at: https://wmich.edu/fortstjoseph/
For further information, please contact Michael S. Nassaney, firstname.lastname@example.org
English settlers colonized Providence Island in 1629 one year after the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in what was to become the United States, but the two colonies ultimately had very different historical trajectories. From 1629-1630, colonists, under the direction of the Providence Island Company, constructed a town, New Westminster, and several forts. Before the Spanish captured the colony in 1641, Providence Island was home to English indentured servants, African slaves sold or taken from Dutch and Spanish ships, Miskito Indians from the Spanish Main, Pequot Indians from Massachusetts, and English and Dutch pirates. Many of the original inhabitants stayed on the Island and their descendants continue to live and work on Providence to this day.
Around 1836, it became clear that the Island would not have enough agricultural productivity to sustain the population. Thus, as an economic supplement, the London-based directors of the Providence Island Company approved the conduct of piracy against Spanish ships and mainland settlements. In the 1670s (after the Spanish left), Providence became a base for English pirates, including the infamous Henry Morgan. Shortly after Colombian independence (1810), Colombia and Nicaragua both attempted claims on the Island territory. The issue was settled by treaty in 1928, officially ceding Providence, and its neighbor Island, San Andrés, to Colombia.
Providence Island’s Puritan original settlement –and subsequent population movement from flat coastal areas into the mountainous interior over the past 490 years– is completely unknown archaeologically, though extensive historical and documentary records exist. The 2019 field season centers on the first-ever archaeological research on Providence Island with the goal of investigating the material, temporal, historical, and spatial aspects of the interactions on this small, yet highly multicultural, western Caribbean island.
The excavation of human burials is a sensitive undertaking that must be carried out with utmost professionalism. Specialized bioarchaeological training is essential to ensure that human burials are uncovered, documented, and removed properly, that is, without damaging the remains or destroying precious information. However, unless they have specialized in the excavation of human remains, even professional archaeologists may not always be up to the task.
This field-based program was developed specifically for advanced students and CRM professionals interested in furthering their professional training by acquiring bioarchaeological skills and experience.
By working in small groups, side-by-side with IRLAB’s professional team, participants will have the opportunity to excavate burials from start to finish. Upon completion of the program, participants will have learned how to properly identify, excavate, document, and remove human burials in archaeological context.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES OF THIS PROGRAM
Upon completion of the program, participants will have become familiar with the following major components of human burial excavation, and related learning objectives:
- Stratigraphic interpretation of human burials
- Learn how to identify burial cuts.
- Understand the stratigraphic relations between adjacent contexts.
- Interpret the different components of a burial and the distinct funerary behavioral actions they represent.
- Bioarchaeological excavation techniques
- Become familiar with the proper methods, tools, and techniques for excavating the different components of human burials, with a focus on exposing skeletal remains while minimizing bone destruction and information loss.
- Learn how to interpret taphonomic processes from the examination of the skeletal elements in the field.
- Learn how to conduct basic analyses of the remains in situ to develop a preliminary biological profile in the field;
- Learn how to efficiently remove skeletal elements and maximize their preservation for study.
- State-of-the-art documentation of human burials
- Learn how to collect spatial information on human burials using a total station and GIS.
- Learn the proper documentation protocols through the use of IRLAB’s dedicated Stratigraphic Unit and Skeletal Context sheets.
- Become familiar with the criteria for properly photographing skeletal contexts and the methods for developing 3D reconstructions of human burials using photogrammetry.
- Theoretical approaches and ethical considerations related to the excavation of human remains
- Become familiar with the different theoretical approaches in bioarchaeology, and understand how they influence the excavation of burial grounds.
- Understand the different circumstances and reasons for excavating human remains, to inform the excavation strategy and research approaches.
SITE & EXCAVATION SCHEDULE
Excavations will take place at the Harrison Township Cholera Cemetery (HTCC), located just 20 minutes away from downtown Columbus, OH. The site is the object of an ongoing project with the aim of excavating, studying, and restoring an abandoned historic cemetery. Learn more…
Excavation will take place daily, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, with a short lunch break. All participants will be required to attend a general orientation at the beginning of the program, and daily briefings in the morning prior to starting fieldwork. IRLAB does not provide meals, lodging or transportation as part of this program, and participants are expected to make their own arrangements.
Participants who would require to make lodging arrangements may benefit from IRLAB’s negotiated group rates at the Woodspring Suites Columbus Urbancrest in Grove City, OH. Simply indicate your interest in the online application or contact David Hubin, Project Manager, anytime upon admission.
Participation in the program will provide participants with exposure to all of the elements of human burial excavation outlined in the Learning Objectives of the program. In order to accommodate the needs of professional schedules, this program is organized in two distinct, additive modules. Each module may be taken as a stand-alone program, although both modules combined provide the best training and experience. Individuals interested in acquiring bioarchaeological experience to serve in leading roles in the recovery of human remains should participate in both modules.
Stratigraphy and Taphonomy
September 17 – 30
This module is focused on the general setup of a bioarchaeological excavation, with emphasis on understanding the general context and stratigraphy of the site or excavation area. The first few days will be spent detecting all relevant features within the excavation area, identifying grave cuts, and determining the stratigraphic relations between contexts. Thereafter, the most superficial layers of the area will be removed mechanically to allow for easier access to the burials. Burials will then be exposed, documented, and removed. Participants in this module will also be required to complete select readings on stratigraphy and taphonomy prior to the program.
Theory and Ethical Practice of Bioarchaeology
October 1 – 13
This module is effectively the prosecution of the previous one, and is focused primarily on the excavation of human remains once all burial cuts have been identified. In groups of 2-3 people, participants will learn the methods and techniques necessary for the proper excavation, documentation, and recovery of human remains in archaeological context. Participants in this module will also be required to complete select readings on the theory of bioarchaeology and participate in group discussions concerning the ethical implications of excavating human remains.
ELIGIBILITY & PREREQUISITES
The program accepts a limited number of participants and welcomes applications from professional archaeologists, as well as advanced undergraduate and graduate students in archaeology, anthropology or allied disciplines from any country and institution. Current enrollment in a university is not a requirement. All applications are evaluated equally and acceptance decisions are primarily based on merit.
The only prerequisite of the program is prior archaeological excavation experience. Human osteological knowledge (typically through the completion of an Osteology course) is not required, but extremely advantageous.
Individuals interested in applying for the field experience must fill out and submit the online Application Form.
The application deadline is September 2, 2018. However, applications are reviewed as soon as they are received and applicants accepted on a first come, first served basis.
Curriculum vitae and/or reference letters (e-mails) may be requested. The staff reserves the right to verify any of the information reported in the application form and request supporting documentation (e.g., advising reports; references) in its sole discretion. Staff will make final decisions regarding enrollment. Acceptance will be communicated by e-mail.
- Karst Geology, June 3-9, Dr. Art Palmer
- Exploration of Mammoth Cave, June 18-22, Mr. Bruce Hatcher and Mr. David Kem
- Karst Resources of Grand Canyon National Park, June 18-24, Dr. Ben Tobin and Dr. Abe Springer
- Visualization of Karst Field Data, June 11-16, Dr. Pat Kambesis and Mr. Howard Kalnitz
- Field Cave Ecology, anticipated July (official dates not yet determined), Dr. Julian Lewis
- Show Cave Interpretation and Education, August 5-10, Dr. Leslie North
Courses may be taken for graduate, undergraduate, or continuing education credit. Courses may also be taken as non-credit workshops.
For more information about the program, courses, how to register, and instructor bios, please visit www.karstfieldstudies.com.
If you have any questions please contact the Karst Field Studies Director, Dr. Leslie North, at email@example.com.
Please sign-up for our mailing list through our website or follow us through our social media accounts at Instagram @karstfieldstudies, Twitter @KFSWKU, Facebook @WKUKarstfieldstudies
Please help us spread the word about the program by forwarding this message to your colleagues, grotto members, staff, students, friends, and any other parties you feel may be interested in this year’s courses!
Hope to see you this summer!
This project looks at a well-known religious community in a less-clearly-understood time: the century and a half during which the descendants of those called “the Pilgrims” radically altered the landscape of Lower Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The outer cape was settled by Europeans starting in 1644 with the founding of Nauset (later Eastham). This settlement was motivated in part by profit, but it was still a religious community, and they carried with them a view of the natural environment as a gift from God to be mastered, “improved,” and used. The settlement at Nauset quickly began to consume the resources of the Lower Cape, and over time this required economic and social adaptations. How did their religious relation to nature change when the environment began to fail them? To answer this question, we will excavate one of the earliest European sites on Cape Cod to see how they adapted both economically and culturally to deforestation and soil erosion that occurred between 1644 and 1800.
Participants in this field school will stay at Cape Cod National Seashore, living in an 1870s Coast Guard Station adjacent to the beach. Activities will include excavation, mapping, and lab work, as well as interaction with site visitors, local historical sites, and museums. Not only will we gain a better understanding of this period, we will also discuss how to best present the information to the public, as stories of the Pilgrims often incorporate narratives of colonial dispossession and environmental change.
The Mohegan field school studies colonial-era sites on the Mohegan Reservation in an innovative collaborative setting. The study of reservation households sheds new light on the rhythms and materiality of everyday life during tumultuous times while providing valuable perspectives on the long-term outcomes of colonial repression, survivance, interaction, and exchange. The field school brings together students and staff of diverse backgrounds to learn about colonial history, the history of North American archaeology, and—most importantly—the often-troubled relationship between archaeologists and indigenous communities. The field school runs as an equal partnership between the Tribe and an academic archaeologist.https://ifrglobal.org/program/us-ct-mohegan/
This field school is a four-week adventure in a rugged environment that will provide students with a crash course in Arctic Archaeology. Participants will learn how to identify sites and features through landscape survey, perform “keyhole” excavations, and learn how to document their observations quickly and efficiently. Students will not only learn about archaeological field methods but will also have the chance to interact with the local community and gain insight into emerging issues regarding the impact of global climate change on cultural resources in the Arctic. Due to the ongoing issues surrounding the loss of organic deposits in South Greenland, emphasis will be placed on rapid and efficient intervention techniques in the field. This program is RPA certified (Register of Professional Archaeologists) and will benefit students who plan to pursue cultural resource management work in the future.
Archaeological investigations in 2019 will be conducted in the small hamlet of Igaliku in South Greenland. During the Norse period, Igaliku was the site of the episcopal manor farm of Garðar, established in AD 1124. Garðar was a geographical nexus between the most populous parts of the Eastern Settlement and possessed a large cathedral dedicated to St. Nicolaus. As the largest church in Norse Greenland, this cathedral reflected the manor’s great wealth and political importance. Although there are theories explaining why the Norse eventually abandoned Greenland in the mid-1400’s, many questions still remain unanswered. In the 1700s, colonial era Inuit farmers resettled Garðar and created a way of life very similar to the Norse – one that continues to this day. This area was nominated as UNESCO World Heritage property in July 2017 and bears witness to a rich and vibrant history of farming and pastoralism in the South Greenland.
Field Schools in Asia
Historical archaeology studies material culture with the aid of historical records. Written records contextualize materiality but may or may not corroborate archaeological evidence. Kullu valley lies in the heart of the Himalayas in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh and is rich in archaeological sites and historical records relating to the sites. The valley is a focal point for many ancient myths in the Himalayas. As texts were frequently revised and chronologically problematic, an assessment of myths and their reality cannot be done on the basis of textual sources alone. There is an absence of early historic excavated sites in the valley, therefore, a historical archaeology and applied anthropological approach is useful for the study of religious art, architecture, oral traditions within the context of the landscape. Such an approach aids in evaluating the manifestation of myths and their reality in the Kullu valley.
The research goals aim at understanding the role of myths in the Kullu valley and how they influence architecture, rituals and use of space. The project will also help understand the interaction of contemporary people with sacred sites in the Himalayas where such myths are depicted and form a part of their daily life.
Field Schools in Australia/New Zealand
Spend your summer in Tasmania's Southern Midlands on an archaeological excavation and earn 12.5 points/6 units towards your degree.
2nd and 3rd year university students across Australia and internationally will learn online about Tasmania's rich record of convict's lives in captivity and work onsite using the latest techniques in excavating historic convict sites. We'll also visit UNESCO World-Heritage listed convict sites at Ross and Port Arthur.
With around 76,000 convicts transported to Tasmania from Britain, and other parts of the then British Empire in the 19th century, our island has a rich archaeological record of their lives in captivity. Now is the perfect time to take part in an archaeological field school investigating the site of a former convict probation station. You’ll be introduced to the latest techniques in excavating historic convict sites to reveal stories from the past.
Archaeology has the potential to provide unique insights into our past.
Expressions of Interest close 31 October.
First two weeks of December 2018 (online),
Last two weeks in January 2019 (onsite)
Intake: Nov 2018 – Feb 2019
T: +61 3 6226 6365
- Two weeks of online learning.
- A two-week field school.
- Team work.
- Excavating objects.
- Learn to understand the found objects in context, then how to clean, categorise, and store them.
- Learn how to consider maps, plans, and other historical records to understand the site’s convict past.
- Current enrolled student at a university in Australia or internationally. Find out more about cross institutional enrolment.
- Minimum 25% at 100 level (two x first year units) and have space to fit our 200 or 300 level unit into your degree.
- All students will be required to have a current tetanus vaccination (last five years) and be fit enough to engage in fieldwork on remote location.
- Along with the normal unit cost an additional field school cost will apply.
- Tuition fees, and a AUD$1200 per student.
- AUD$300 deposit paid in full to secure your place.
- Option to pay $300 instalments by 30 November 2018.
- Students travel expenses from interstate or internationally will be your own cost.
Field Schools in Canada
Field Schools in Central America
The role of the Pacific Ocean is taking on increasing importance in Pre-Columbian, Colonial, and Contemporary studies of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Our project focuses on a key region within this vast system— the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca and its adjacent Pacific Coast— one of the most ethnically and linguistically complex and biologically diverse regions in the world. For over two millennia Oaxacan Indigenous cultures constructed here monumental sites; ruled over vast city-states; invented complex writing systems and iconography; and crafted among the finest artistic traditions in the world, some of which are still perpetuated to this day. The clash of the Indigenous and the European worlds in the 16th century created unique cultures; the legacy of which underlies the modern nation of Mexico. By traveling from the bustling Oaxaca City through the valleys, mountains, and down to the Pacific Coast, students will be introduced to a dynamic arena where long-term colonial interests were negotiated between Indigenous and European powers such as the Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Aztecs, Pochutecs, Chontal, Huaves, Spanish and, even English, Dutch, and French Pirates! Students will conduct interactive exercises in ceremonial centers and off-the-beaten track archaeological sites and museums, learn to decipher and employ Indigenous pictorial documents and European maps, experience urban and rural lifestyles in various geographical zones, visit sacred sites where rituals are still being performed today, conduct basic language documentation and investigate local language revitalization projects, and actively participate in local festivities. Finally, through the study of long-term colonial processes in southern Mexico, students will gain a better understanding of this fascinating modern nation-state and its direct impact on contemporary debates.
Please note that in compliance with Mexican policies, this field school does not involve an active participation in an archaeological excavation. All data resulting from this project are historical, ethnographic, and linguistic in nature, intended to be integrated with published and observed archaeological records.
Field Schools in Europe
The trial and subsequent execution of ten alleged witches in 1612 is the most famous witchcraft event in English history. Scholars have long wrestled with issues surrounding witchcraft and magic, with the Pendle Hill story featuring prominently. Investigations have focused on multiple aspects of the social, economic, and political conditions of the early 17th century, but this is the first concerted effort to use anthropological archaeology to examine the material basis of witchcraft, the integration of traditional healers in society, and the material conditions of everyday life in Lancashire in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. In 2018, excavations revealed the possible remains of a house at Malkin Tower Farm, the long-assumed homesite of the famous family of witches. The excavation of this house site will continue in 2019 and hopefully reveal even more about the daily lives of England’s Early Modern healers.
Built in 1,169 CE, Ferrycarrig is crucial to our understanding of the earliest stages of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. Probably one of the first permanent Norman fortifications to be built in Ireland, the site comprised a ringwork castle placed on a natural promontory overlooking the River Slaney and Wexford town. Today, the bank and ditch are all that remain above the ground but archaeological excavations in the 1980’s uncovered significant evidence of the fortifications preserved below ground.
Ferrycarrig is located within the Irish National Heritage Park, an open-air museum which recreates the key stages in Ireland’s past, providing a stunning backdrop to the archaeological research site. Students will be exposed not only to archaeological investigation at the site but also to the many and myriad ways by which the public is presented, view and interpret the archaeological record.
Disert is a ritual pilgrim landscape in Co. Donegal that includes a series of early ecclesiastical enclosures, penitential cairns, a holy well dedicated to St Colmcille (also known as St Columba), a post-medieval altar and a cillín (children’s graveyard). It may date to as early as the sixth century AD when it was reputedly founded by St Colmcille or may even extend back into prehistory. Disert is still important today for religious devotion and for pilgrims seeking miraculous cures for medical conditions.
This spectacular area lies at the foothills of the Bluestack Mountains, some 10km from Donegal Town and the Wild Atlantic Way. Rural sites such as this are poorly understood and the excavation will offer the opportunity to examine the role of Disert in both early and more recent Irish Christianity.
2019 will be the first year of excavation so the focus will be on understanding the dating and origin of the site as well as the nature of features previously identified by fieldwalking, drone survey and geophysics. Students will be working closely with members of the local community and with Irish students to begin to unpick this fascinating story. They will gain experience of excavating, recording and surveying sites and in the evenings will be introduced to Irish culture, society and hospitality.
Albania’s magnificent archaeological site at Butrint National Park is one of two primary locations for Utica College’s 16th annual Forensic Anthropology/Bioarchaeology Field School course, which also includes six days in Bucharest, Romania and two days in Corfu, Greece. A truly unique international experience, ours is the only anthropology field school where participants live in three different countries and explore three fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites. No previous experience with human skeletal remains is required and participants are not required to enroll in the course to join the program. Undergraduates and graduate students may choose to enroll at the reduced tuition of $900 for the six-credit course (ANT 347/547).
Taught both at Butrint and at the University of Bucharest using the skeletal collections from the Francisc I. Rainer Anthropology Institute, this program emphasizes practical techniques of forensic analyses from the field to the laboratory, bioarchaeology, and paleopathological diagnosis using a wide range of adult and immature human remains from numerous sites and collections. Our program faculty members encourage and guide student research during the trip with the goal of preparing participants to make presentations at professional conferences. See the range of previous student presentations at:
Unlike other field schools, the program fee includes virtually all of your meals during the entire trip and airfare between Greece and Romania. We stay only in full-service hotels located in the hearts of Tirana, Corfu, and Bucharest and at the main gate of Butrint. More than 150 students from over 80 US and international colleges and universities have participated in Utica College’s program since 2004, many of whom later returned to conduct their own graduate research.
Co-taught by a forensic anthropologist and bioarchaeologist (Thomas A. Crist, Ph.D., FAAFS), a historical archaeologist (Kathleen L. Wheeler, Ph.D.), and a medical anthropologist (John H. Johnsen, Ph.D.), course topics also include forensic archaeology; cross-cultural health and healing; Roman and Balkan history; mortuary archaeology; human anatomy, mass fatality incident planning; cultural resources management; public outreach; and heritage tourism. Albanian archaeologists and the physical anthropologists at the Rainer Anthropology Institute join us to present specialized lectures, demonstrations, and site tours.
For more details and videos about the program, we invite you to visit our web page at www.utica.edu/butrint or contact Thomas A. Crist, Harold T. Clark, Jr. Professor of Anthropology and Anatomy, at Tcrist@utica.edu/315-792-3390.
The Achill Archaeological Field School is Ireland’s oldest field school and has over 25 years of experience in training archaeology and anthropology students. Located on Achill Island on Ireland’s stunning Wild Atlantic Way, the field school combines top quality education with unforgettable experiences. We offer twelve-, eight-, six-, four-, and two-week courses between May and September. Our courses come with up to 9 Semester Credits/ 18 ECTS provided by the National University of Ireland Galway. The school provides hands-on training in excavation and surveying for archaeology and anthropology students. Courses cover a full range of excavation methods, recording techniques, and lab work. Field-based learning is supplemented by weekly field trips to local sites and monuments, and provides a series of evening lectures and workshops on topics of historical and archaeological interest.
In summer 2019 our training excavation will be at Caraun Point, a multi-period archaeological complex located on a sand-covered promontory on Achill’s north-east coast. The settlement complex includes an early medieval enclosure, multiple shell middens, a children’s burial ground, and a deserted early modern village. During initial work in 2018 we excavated one of the houses from the village and part of a shell midden. The dig yielded fascinating evidence for life in 18th century Achill, but many questions remain. In 2019 we will return to Caraun Point for the full season. Work will comprise thorough instrument survey, surface survey and excavation at the site, focusing on the early modern village. Students will also have a chance to participate in our public archaeology programme.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lobor is a sacred archaeological site that has been active since prehistoric times. It played an important role in Late Antiquity when various barbarian groups (Germanic and others) crossed the borders into the Western Roman Empire. In the period between the 4th and 7th centuries, settlements were relocated to hilltops so that they could provide better protection for the inhabitants and make visual communication between such elevated spots easier. At that time, a large early Christian basilica was built in Lobor. It was probably erected on the site of a former temple dedicated to Diana. After the early Christian church was destroyed, first a pre-Romanesque church and then a Romanesque church were built. These churches marked another important period in Lobor’s history, the Carolingian period. The remains of the only wooden church known so far in northwestern Croatia have been discovered at the site. The wooden church is likely to have served as a temporary shrine between the respective periods of activity of the pre-Romanesque church and the Romanesque church. Since the very beginnings, the Lobor site has been associated with female cults, first the goddess Diana and later the Virgin Mary. It has remained so until today.
The churches are surrounded by a cemetery with burials dating back to prehistoric times and up to the 19th century. Every year, research into one part of the cemetery is conducted. Students learn the process of determining the area of a burial, cleaning the skeletons in the soil, drawing, photography, dealing with in situ finds, removing and packing the bones, and laboratory analysis of skeletons. The Bioarchaeological School at Lobor began is 2016 as the Croatian Science Foundation project. The projects aims to reconstruct the profile of communities that lived in the area, from trauma analysis to DNA and facial reconstruction of individual skeletons.