field school

It’s the time of year when a lot of people are heading into the field, and I thought this might be of some use to anyone needing a little refresher on proper soil identification. Knowing how to describe soils is important– regardless if you’re digging test pits or excavating units– and this chart from the Colorado State University Extension Office makes it pretty easy. Their website also goes into more detail for anyone who wants it.

Even though this archaeology field season is wrapping up, it’s never too early to plan for next season! The Sanford Museum in Cherokee, IA, will be hosting another Archaeology Field School coming up June 1-3rd, and June 6-10th. Check out the poster to learn more information on how you can become involved! The cost is only $75, and group lodging is provided.
2014 Field School Excavation | The American Institute for Roman Culture

The American Institute for Roman Culture’s Summer Archaeological Field School is an intensive, accredited six-week educational program in Roman archaeology led by AIRC faculty and affiliated expert archaeologists. The program offers students a unique combination of (1) one week of specialized academic instruction on the topography and development of Rome, including visits to major museums and open-air sites to augment field studies and provide participants with a broader context of what life was like in the ancient city, and (2) five weeks of hands-on fieldwork at an important archaeological site in the city and environs. In 2014 the program will be held from June 9 through July 20 and will take place at Ostia Antica, the harbor city of ancient Rome.


Our newest high school field school at the Medieval Castle of Zorita began auspiciously as the crew uncovered a skeleton on the second day. The team is excavating an area thought to have been a cemetery (located next to a Christian chapel), so today’s find appears to confirm that hypothesis. More excavation will tell, of course. Good hunting Katherine, Sydney, Juan, Henry, Madison, Samantha, and India!

List of Field Schools (and some internships)

Will update as we go, so if you know some programs, please submit the info:

***American Anthropological Association

American Association of Zoos and AquariumsIt’s generally better to check out the zoo’s website

European Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Central Washington University: Archaeology, Primates, CRM, & Forensics.

***Primate Info Net

***ShovelBums: Wonderful arch resource

UCDavis: Archaeology

University of Florida: Forensics, Archaeology, CRM

University of Massachusetts:  Forensic, Archaeology, CRM, Primates

Utica College: Forensics

*** are all highly recommended

Why do a field school?

If you are getting a degree in Anthropology (socal, arch, bio anth, lingustics) then a field school is a must. 

Here is the link of the American Anthropological Association website for an article on why field school are a crucial learning tool for Anthropology students. 

Here are some parts of the article (it’s a bit lengthy, but has great information)

Cramming fieldwork experience under one’s belt is almost a must for future anthropologists. More and more anthropology programs are creating field schools and summer programs for students. Graduate students tend to anticipate conducting field research or the equivalent during the second half of their academic program. For undergraduate students, however, finding an outlet for gaining practical experience can be somewhat limited, both geographically and financially. Besides traveling with a study abroad program and spending a semester holed up in a dark pub in the middle of Europe, what are some alternatives for students to satisfy their anthropology craving?

It is beneficial to explore one or more areas of anthropology to broaden your knowledge of the whole discipline, as well as to gain insights into your own interests. From introducing freshman international students around campus to hiking through rain forests, students do have choices and opportunities. Study abroad offices, international organizations on campus, and teaching ESL (English as a second language) are all some possible outlets in which to practice anthropological concepts. Check with the Office of the State Archaeologist; perhaps they are in need of volunteers to assist with local projects. To satisfy your biological interests, contact your local zoo and ask to volunteer or check with the genetics/biology department on campus for any information on overseas or domestic programs.

Don’t forget to also look for opportunities within your university, such as a campus-wide student research colloquium, giving a guest talk to a non-anthropology class studying a related area, or talking to your anthropology club. If you received funding from a community organization, show your appreciation by giving a lecture about what you gained while conducting your project. By presenting your experiences and research, you will develop communication skills and understand how to better conduct fieldwork in the future.

Kate Patch
AAA Academic Relations
Stacey Hockett Sherlock
U of Maryland
Click here to support Send Rin to Field School in Belgium! by Aneirin Conor Pendragon

Hello, all!  I’m currently a History/Classics major at the University of Delaware. My aspiration is to become an archaeologist, and most people participate in a field school before they go on to doing archaeology at the graduate level. Since my university doesn’t offer any field school programs,…

Hey, everyone, I’m trying to raise some money to get to a Field School in Belgium next year. Since I’m an independent student and have to pay everything on my own, the cost of this trip is basically what I make in six months. Please donate if you can, every little bit helps! If you can’t donate, I’ll really appreciate a signal boost!
FIELD SCHOOL OPPORTUNITY - Excavate a Roman Villa at Cortona, Italy

Within the context of  research on the Romanization of Etruria, we are  continuing the excavation of a large Roman complex of the 1st century B.C. through the 5th century A.D. From the early 1st c. B.C. onwards, the villa was terraced with an elongated plan. Several CAESARUM brickstamps indicate that the complex was part of an estate owned by the Roman Imperial family. In later centuries structural and functional changes in the complex document the architectural and social transformations that occurred during the later empire in rural Italy.  The site and its artefacts are the core of the Roman section in the Cortona Museum.

Classics 475/476 (undergrad) or 601/602 (graduate level). The field school is limited to 15 students.

The course is taught in 6 modules, including lectures, museum and site visits, excavation, laboratory, interpretation of finds. The course emphasizes archaeological interpretation within in the cultural and historical context of Roman Italy.

Application deadline is March 1, 2013. You will be notified in early March regarding acceptance into the course.

More information at the link.

I attended this field school myself last summer. It was a great experience and also very affordable!

College of DuPage Field School Opportunity [link]

The archaeology faculty and staff of College of DuPage and Masaryk University (Brno) invite you to join our joint excavations at this exceptional site in the southeastern corner of the Czech Republic. Located near Breclav, just one km north of the Austrian border, 65 km southeast of Brno, and approximately 80 km northwest of Bratislava, Slovak Republic, Pohansko straddles major communication and transportation routes into Moravia and hence access through central Europe and into the Baltic. This route, known in earlier times as the Amber Road, served as a main avenue of communication and trade from the classical world to Germanic and Slavic peoples of the north.

This year teams of Czech and American students will continue a combined sequence of excavations adjacent to the main portion of the site in order to further assess the range of activities and social statuses present in this important center. A variety of methods will be taught, including excavation procedures, mapping using laser levels and total stations (laser theodolites supported by onboard computers), flotation, feature excavation, field photography, and materials recording. A possibility exists that a series of well-preserved, extended burials may also be encountered associated with domestic structures. These will excavated and subjected to preliminary forensic analysis at the research station pending remaining excavation time and the condition of the remains. It is important to note, though, that no one can predict exactly what will be encountered so some variation in precisely what occurs is likely.