Links to Field School Opportunities
The Egypt Conservation and Documentation Field School – The vast Muslim cemeteries of Cairo, sometimes called the “City of the Dead”, are unique urban environments that include valuable medieval architectural monuments and living communities that practice traditional crafts. As part of the conservation and reconstructions efforts of the hawd mosque – erected by Sultan Qaitbey ca. 1,472 CE – students will participate in documentation of physical and social aspects of a section of this quarter. Working side-by-side with Egyptian peers, students will learn about architectural and urban history of a traditional Middle Eastern city, and about principles of architectural conservation and adaptive reuse. For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/egypt-conservation.
Urban Garbology: Smoking and Identity in New London (CT) Field School – Embedded in an active, methodologically rigorous research program addressing the linkages between modern material culture and behavior in urban America, this field school aims to produce a robust dataset that allows archaeologists to reflect on the ways that social identity is indexed in/with everyday trash. Working in a unique, New England urban setting, students will learn to apply both archaeological and ethnographic research methods as they study the garbage of city dwellers from ethnoarchaeological and forensic perspectives, with special attention to the most ubiquitous of urban trash, cigarettes. Field and lab training include surface survey, artifact collection and identification, GPS mapping, photography, scan sampling, person-centered interviewing, GIS, and database design. For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/us-connecticut-garbology.
The Field School in Medieval Archaeology and Bioarchaeology at Badia Pozzeveri, Italy - For the third consecutive year, during summer 2013 The Ohio State University and the University of Pisa will offer a field school in archaeology and bioarchaeology in Tuscany, Italy. The program is an outstanding opportunity for students to gain practical experience in archaeological excavation and bioarchaeological investigation by working side-by-side with leading researchers in the field. The field school welcomes both undergraduate and graduate students majoring in anthropology. For more information, visit our website at http://www.fieldschoolpozzeveri.org/
The Institute for Field Research (IFR) run archaeology field schools for college students -- at both the undergraduate and graduate levels -- in many locations across the world. All field schools are research based and directed by leading scholars in the field.
The Italy Prane Siddi Field School – During the Middle Bronze Age, a hierarchical society built sixteen monumental stone towers on Pran'e Siddi, a high plateau located in south-central Sardinia (Italy). Within a few centuries, these monumental sites were abandoned. The Pran'e Siddi Landscape Project was established to research how the Middle Bronze Age people of Pran'e Siddi used their land and to investigate the possibility that they were using unsustainable agricultural practices to gain wealth and power. Students will use a variety of archaeological survey methods and artifact analyses to investigate land use, settlement change, and sustainability in the Siddi region. For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/italy-prane-siddi.
The Arizona Migrants Field School – Since the mid-1990's, hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants from Mexico and beyond have been entering the United States on foot through Arizona. Migrants often walk for several days across the harsh Sonora Desert to reach places such as Tucson. People typically carry backpacks loaded with food, clothing, and other personal items. Along the way they rest and discard these goods at temporary campsites known as "migrant stations." Hundreds of migrant stations have been identified in southern Arizona using traditional archaeological analytical methods and ethnography. The project examines migrant material culture to understand many aspects of this clandestine cultural phenomenon.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/us-az-migrants.
The Yangguanzhai Field School, China– The Yangguanzhai Neolithic site in the Wei River Valley was discovered in 2004. Located in the area from which the earliest Chinese dynasties emerged, the site contains rich deposits of Neolithic houses, storage pits, ceramic kilns, children's burials, trash pits, and a large moat. Excavated artifacts include decorated and undecorated pottery, stone tools, and various ornaments made of stone, ceramic, bone, and shell. Yangguanzhai is located in the central area of what archeologists call the "Yangshao Culture Miaodigou Phase" and provides essential information of Neolithic settlement, social organization, economic, and possibly ritual activities.Excavations and lectures during the 2013 season will provide vital insight into the prehistoric Chinese past. For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/china-yangguanzhai.
The Ciudad Perdida Field School, Colombia– Located deep in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains, Teyuna-Ciudad Perdida is one of the largest sites built and inhabited by the Tayrona polities for more than a millennia prior to European contact (AD 200 to AD 1600). In 2013, researchers will focus investigations on three sites located a short distance from the remote Ciudad Perdida. Students in this exciting field school will help to collect archaeological data for the purpose of illuminating the relationship of these smaller settlements to the larger urban core. Field investigations will entail site survey, mapping of inter-site flagstone paths, and shovel test excavation. Students will also be trained in artifact collection, cataloging, stratigraphic profiling, nd architectural documentation. Several collapsed structures will be the target of conservation work under the instruction of Catalina Bateman, Archaeological Conservator for the Tayrona National Natural Park. For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/colombia-ciudad-perdida.
The Fayum Field School, Egypt – The Fayum field school takes place at the Greco-Roman town of Karanis, a large mudbrick settlement founded in the third century BCE as part of the Ptolemaic expanse of agriculture in the Fayum region of Egypt. The project focuses on both domestic and industrial areas to understand the importance of agriculture in relation to other economic activities. During the field training, students will work closely together with Egyptian graduates as part of a broader research project which enables students to experience different types of archaeological work and their contributions to a primary research question.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/egypt-fayum.
The Oakington Field School, UK – East Anglia is among the richest archaeology areas in the UK, noteworthy for its Anglo-Saxon remains. The fieldschool focuses on the site of Oakington (Cambridgeshire) and explores a fifth and sixth century cemetery first found in 1926. From three earlier seasons we have found 110 inhumation graves that include males with weapons, females with full costumes, two horses, and one cow. The aim of the project is to systematically excavate the extent of the surviving cemetery to investigate life on the edge of the Cambrideshire Fen. The project includes a public outreach component in the local village.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/england-oakington.
The Penycloddiau Hillfort Field School, UK – From its spectacular hilltop location, our field school aims to provide students with a solid understanding of the full range of practical skills involved in the archaeological process, including: single-context stratigraphic excavation/recording; drawing plans/sections; geophysics and topographic survey; archaeological photography/illustration; finds handling; and environmental sampling/processing. At 21 hectares, Penycloddiau hillfort is one of the largest pre-Roman Iron Age sites in the UK. Previous work suggests that similar large contour enclosures may be a very early type (c. 800-400 BC); as a result, our excavations aim to help date the very origins of the hillfort in western Britain.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/england-penycloddiau.
The Blackfrairy Field School, Ireland (two sessions) – The excavations take place at a 13th century Dominican friary in Trim, Co. Meath. The Blackfriary was the third religious house built in Trim in the 12th - 13th Centuries. During the 16th century, the friary fell into disrepair following the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. In the 18th Century, the building was sold as a live quarry, servicing a building boom in the town. In its construction and destruction, the friary reflects the growth and decline, and modern development of the town of Trim. The Blackfriary Project is a community based research and teaching excavation, including mortuary excavations. The project includes an outreach and education program developed in conjunction with the Blackfriary Project Committee, the Town Council, and the Heritage Office in Meath County Council. For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/ireland-blackfriary.
The Spike Island Field School, Ireland – Spike Island prison, Ireland's Alcatraz, is located in Cork harbour. The prison opened in 1847 at the height of the Great Irish Famine and closed in 1883. The prison was an important holding center for convicts transported to Australia. The focus of the 2013 season will be on the convict burial ground and the bioarchaeology of the inmates. We also hope to investigate the foundations of a prison building. Archaeology provides a means of investigating daily life in the prison and the triangle of relationships between convicts, warders, and the institution, and also the place of such prisons in broader imperial systems. For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/ireland-spike-island.
The Tel Bet Yerah Field School, Israel – Tel Bet Yerah (Khirbet Kerak) is a large mound situated on the Sea of Galilee, at the outlet of the River Jordan in Israel. Occupied throughout the Early Bronze Age and sporadically in later times, Bet Yerah was a fortified city at the beginning of the third millennium BCE. It had contact with the First Dynasty kings of Egypt and was later home to a unique ceramic tradition: Khirbet Kerak Ware, with roots in the South Caucasus. In 2013, students and volunteers will continue to investigate the monumental Circles Building (granary), excavating a nearby plaza and houses dating to 3000 - 2800 BCE.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/israel.
ThePran'e Siddi Landscape Archaeology Field School, Italy – The Pran'e Siddi Landscape Project combines a variety of survey methodologies, soil analyses, and artifact analyses to investigate changing land use patterns in a Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1750-1450 BCE) settlement system in south central Sardinia. This settlement system, located on and around a high basaltic plateau near the modern town of Siddi, saw the development of a successful local elite with a program of monumental building and craft specialization. After only three centuries of occupation, the settlement system appears to have been abandoned. The Pran'e Siddi Landscape Project will investigate non-elite production strategies and land use and their relationship to environmental change.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/italy-prane-siddi.
The Ethnohistorical Field School, Mexico – The objective of this interdisciplinary project is to introduce innovative methods of integrating archaeological research with art history, ethnohistory, and ethnography, in an intensive travel study program spanning from busy Mexico City to the scenic valleys and highlands of Oaxaca and Puebla. It does not involve active participation in archaeological digs. Through daily traveling and hiking, students will learn about the millennial indigenous cultures, the impact of European colonialism, and the contemporary lifestyles and issues, by the active exploration of archaeological and historical sites, museum collections, and indigenous communities. These excursions will be integrated with classroom courses and on-site lectures delivered by experts on ethnohistorical documents, archaeological field and lab methods, and ethnographic research.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/mexico.
The Chincha Field School, Peru – The Paracas culture of southern Peru is famous for its spectacular art and depictions of human trophy heads. In this project we will explore the nature of violence in Paracas culture to determine if it was a type of ritually confined elite competition or if it was war for political and economic ends. We will also explore interregional exchange and mobility between the coast, mid-valley, and highland ecological zones to illuminate the exchanges of goods and ideas over long distances. Students will work closely with experts from the Universidad Mayor San Marcos from Lima (Peru) and gain a rich experience in excavations, mapping, laboratory work, and analytical techniques.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/peru-chincha.
The Huari Field school, Peru – The archaeological site of Huari is located near the modern city of Ayacucho and it is one of the largest archaeological sites in western South America. Huari was probably the capital city of the Wari Empire, a pan-Andean polity that flourished during the Middle Horizon Period (ca. AD 500-1,050).Huari had been excavated in a limited fashion and as a result we still poorly understand its function as a city and its role as the Wari Empire capital. The project will focus on excavations at the Sankay Corral sector, a hill overlooking Huari and a potential location for the city gates and the main water canal feeding into the city.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/peru-huari.
The Moqi Field School, Peru – The Inka empire was one of the largest of the ancient world, supported by a network of outposts. The project will explore one of the best preserved outposts, Moqi. The Moqi site comprises a commoner domestic area, an Inka-style civic-ceremonial sector, and several cemeteries. Our primary research interests lie in determining what brought the Inka to this valley and how local and imperial populations interacted. Mortuary analyses are critical for learning about the identities of the site's inhabitants and also excavations in both the domestic and Inka parts of the site to explain how these groups articulated on a daily basis. This is a multidisciplinary project that explores the function of the site and its political, economic, and ideological significance.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/peru-moqi.
The Taraco Field School, Peru – Lake Titicaca Basin is one of the few places in the world where complex societies independently developed. The archaeological site of Taraco was a major center in this region during the Middle (ca. 1300-500 BC) and early Upper (ca. 500 BC-AD 100) Formative Periods. Recent work revealed a long occupational sequence that included evidence for participation in long-distance trade networks and public ceremonialism, as well as the earliest evidence of successful raiding in the south central Andes. Working alongside colleagues and students from Peruvian universities, we will continue to investigate these patterns, and students will gain experience in a range of archaeological techniques and methods.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/peru-taraco.
The Vitor Field School, Peru – Vitor Valley of Southern Peru exhibits a long history of human occupation. The most important archaeological complex is Millo 2, which includes ceremonial, residential, and mortuary components with significant evidence of Wari, Tiwanaku, and Inka presence. Through the study of these remains, the Vitor Archaeological Project focuses on the emergence of social complexity and human/environment interactions. Students will be trained in critical thinking and a wide range of archaeological research methodologies including: survey, and excavations of domestic, ceremonial, and mortuary contexts. Students will also spend time in the field lab studying, recording, and analyzing a wide range of archaeological artifacts.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/peru-vitor.
The Cova Gran Field school, Spain – The project explores dramatic changes in Paleolithic subsistence and social organization that are key to developing a more nuanced understanding of the last 50,000 years of human evolution. The southeastern Pyrenees has a rich archaeological heritage, with human settlement spanning the Late Middle Paleolithic to the Neolithic. Focusing on the Cova Gran-Santa Linya site, this investigation examines differences in Neanderthal and anatomically modern human behavior around the MIS 3/2 limit. Cova Gran also contains deposits dating to the late Upper Paleolithic and evincing the transition from hunter-gatherer to shepherd-farmer subsistence practices.Working alongside colleagues and students from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (www.uab.es/cepap), field school students will be exposed to a wide range of archaeological techniques and methods all the while learning about heritage management and scientific research design.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/spain-cova-gran.
The Spitzkloof Rockshelter Field school, South Africa – Archaeological investigations in South Africa's rugged and remote Namaqualand desert are aimed at reconstructing the flexible survival behaviors so characteristic of our species. Ancient desert adaptations will be explored through excavations at one of three spectacular rockshelters, Spitzkloof B,and surveys in the surrounding arid landscape. Although the region boasts an extremely rich archaeological record stretching back over 60,000 years, it remains virtually unexplored. Camping in a red-sand valley and working alongside experts in southern African prehistory, students will reconstruct ancient desert lifestyles and in the process also gain experience with a range of archaeological materials, techniques and methods.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/south-africa-spitzkloof-rockshelter.
The Olduvai Field School, Tanzania – Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, is one of the most important paleoanthropological sites in the world. It was the first place where traces of an early stone tool culture were discovered and also where the transition from the Oldowan (a simple core-and-flake technology) to the Acheulean (defined by the appearance of handaxes) was first documented. Despite the relevance of Olduvai to the understanding of the origins of the Acheulean, there have been few investigations of this topic. In 2008, the Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project(OGAP) was started to renew investigations on the origins of the Acheulean in Olduvai.For more information, visit our website at http://www.ifrglobal.org/programs/current/tanzania-olduvai.
The Ecuador Field School Programs in the Department of Anthropology at Florida Atlantic University have operated courses for anthropological and archaeological training in methods for undergraduate and graduate students since 1997. Over the past fifteen years the program has trained approximately 250 students from FAU and universities in the U.S., Europe, and South America. The Ecuador Field Programs (both ethnography and archaeology) are part of a long-term anthropological research and training project focused on understanding the southern Manabí regional development of coastal Ecuadorian culture from 5,000 years ago to the present. Emphasis in both programs is on gaining experience with field methods, working with local populations, and producing field reports. The programs run June 22-August 4. More information on the Ecuador Field Programs can be found at: http://www.fau.edu/anthro/field.php
Dmanisi Paleoanthropology Field School (DPFS) is a four-week field course in paleoanthropology at the site of Dmanisi, Georgia. It starts in the last week of July and continues in August. DPFS is a combination of theoretical course work and practical training. By the end of the course students will choose a research project and prepare a final presentation. Students will build up the teams, work with each other and the field school faculty to finalize their project presentation, which they will present on the final day of the program. Students will have an opportunity to take part in offsite excursions to other historical and prehistoric sites of interest in the Dmanisi region. For more information, please send inquiries to: email@example.com
The Turkana Basin Institute The Stony Brook University field school is offering a full time program of 15 upper division credits in Kenya in the Fall and Spring. The program exposes students to all aspects of Archaeology, Ecology, Geology, Human Evolution and Paleoecology. The courses are taught by the world's leaders in these fields. Among the co-instructors are the Leakey family, who have worked in the Turkana basin for 40 years and contributed to the discoveries of the fossil evidence for human evolution between 7 and 1 million years. More information on the Turkana Basin Field school can also be found here: http://www.turkanabasin.org/.
Qualitative Social Science Field Methods in La Paz, Bolivia 6 week program (late May-June) led by two faculty members with extensive research experience in Bolivia. The program focuses on research design and execution, with classroom components in the morning at the Universidad Católica Boliviana and fieldwork modules in the afternoon for the first four weeks, then there are two weeks of independent fieldwork, research, and writing on a project of the student's own design (performed in consultation with the faculty members). All students receive IRB approval for their research prior to arrival and can use their data in later theses. The Field School is offered for graduate or undergraduate credit (6 hours). All students (graduate or undergraduate) receive in-state tuition per the University of Mississippi's Study Abroad policy, regardless of state of residence.
Thailand Ethnographic Field School The Thailand Field School is an 11-week (late May-early August) ethnographic research training program, which will take place in an ethnic minority sub-district in Northern Thailand where Hmong, Mien, Lua, and Northern Thais reside. The goal of this program is to give students mentored research field experience. Students will conduct field work on their individual projects under the mentorship of the directing faculty, or may work to collect and analyze data on the directing faculty's current research projects. Students will also receive in-field training on ethnographic research design and methods. This program is based in the BYU Anthropology Department. Students receive 9 credits of research-oriented coursework. This program can accommodate both undergraduate and graduate students. More information, including photos of past field schools, can be found at: http://fhssfaculty.byu.edu/jacobhickman/fieldschool.html
Archaeology Field School and Volunteer Directory Searchable by city, state, country, and region
Passport in Time A volunteer program of the USDA Forest Service.
Shovelbums The archaeology and CRM professional's resource for jobs, news and gear + new international field schools directory.
Center for American Archaeology Offers variety of programs for all ages
Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History offers four weeks of intensive training in seminars and hands-on workshops at the museum and at an off-site collections facility. Students are introduced to the scope of collections and their potential as data. Students become acquainted with strategies for navigating museum systems, learn to select methods to examine and analyze museum specimens, and consider a range of theoretical issues that collections-based research may address.
The School for Field Studies (SFS) Provider of environmental field study abroad programs for American undergraduate students in Australia, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, Tanzania and Turks & Caicos Islands.
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Why do a Field School?
Cramming fieldwork experience under one's belt is almost a must for future anthropologists. An article published in Anthropology News in April, 2003. Read more
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