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2023 Field School & Volunteer Opportunities

Written by: Nikki Simon

February 21st 2023


Hello all! I figured that I might consolidate a little bit of a list of Fieldschool and Volunteer opportunities that are available to student archaeologists this summer! Now, this is not a list of ALL the opportunities available; there are dozens more, and if you don't see one that is quite right for you, I encourage you to search out some of the others not listed here.


The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) keeps a pretty significant list of field school opportunities on their page here: Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin - Archaeological Institute of America, where you can view them in list or map mode. However, some of the listings here are not necessarily up-to-date, so make sure you're checking the dates!


With that said, let's jump right in! I've organized them for you by subdiscipline, with a little list of the low(er) cost options at the end =)


Now go forth and find work! Please also keep in mind that the application deadline for some of these is coming up fast (March 1st!), so you better hustle your bustle!

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BIOARCHAEOLOGY


Bioarchaeology & Excavation: Discovering St. Aiden’s Monastery

Description: This four-week program provides a unique, hands-on opportunity for students to excavate the buried remains of both St Aidan’s c. 7th-century monastery and a 12th-century Augustinian Abbey (founded by Diarmuid McMurrough) in the town of Ferns, County Wexford, Ireland. This site is a multi-period complex, originally founded by St Aidan at the turn of the 7th century and used from that time until today as a place of worship. Excavations will focus on the early monastic enclosure as well as buildings from both monastic communities. As both sites contain burial grounds this program is both an excavation and bioarchaeology course.


This project focuses on the remains of the monastery and abbey and has three primary components: excavation of the abbey buildings, excavation of the early monastery, and bioarchaeology. Excavation of the abbey buildings aims to determine their scope and layout as well as the associated infrastructure. A clearer understanding of how the physical structure of the abbey changed over time will help illuminate:

• the relationship between the friary and its founder, Diarmuid McMurrough (King of Leinster), and its relationship with the town and community

• the form of the abbey through time, specifically the scale and number of buildings, which is one of a small number of High Medieval native Irish monastic orders, that pre-date the coming of the AngloNormans By ascertaining who was buried at St Aidan’s Monastery and Mary’s abbey, where they were buried and when. The bioarchaeological research will inform our understanding of the long-term relationship between the local townspeople and the abbey

Expectations: Course Objectives:

• Understand different strands of archaeological enquiry and their ap[1]plication in an archaeological research context

• Critically interrogate historical records and archaeological survey data, as part of an overall research design

• Have an understanding of the skills required for the conduct of an archaeological excavation

• Understand on-site laboratory protocols, and how these contribute to artifact research, conservation and interpretation

• Have an understanding of the medieval history of both Ireland and Wexford

• Have the skills to confidently and professionally excavate human remains and to identify and name the bones of the human skeleton (and distinguish it from animal bones)

• Have an awareness of ethical protocols and considerations when handling human skeletal material

• Understand skeletal analysis techniques and how to use these to determine sex, age-at-death, and living stature from complete/partial skeletons; as well as understand the basics of palaeopathology and skeletal trauma identification

• Understand how heritage can be explained and presented in an engaging manner to visitors and the community alike

Duration: June 11th – July 8th (4 Weeks)

Cost: $5,205 USD

What’s Included? Cost includes 6 credits from Irish Archaeology Field School, accommodation, meals and field trips. Transportation to location is separate.

Deadline: May 1st

Link: https://iafs.ie/bioarchaeology-and-excavation/


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UNB Bioarchaeology Field School

Description: The Fortress of Louisbourg, a National Historic Site in Canada, boasts an impressive history that contributes to our understanding of life in Atlantic Canada during the 18th century.


Due to ongoing and imminent coastal erosion, this shared history is being lost at an alarming rate as archaeological material is being steadily destroyed.


Our research is designed to address ongoing erosional issues at the Fortress of Louisbourg by actively excavating and analyzing the individuals interred at Rochefort Point.


By rescuing these burials through a large-scale, multi-year rescue excavation, there is a unique research opportunity to explore the lived experience of those who were part of the Louisbourg community while actively protecting their physical remains from certain destruction.

Expectations: This field school allows participants to gain:

  • a hands-on field experience to complement undergraduate and graduate courses

  • critical bioarchaeological training in skeletal recovery, analysis and ethical handling practices

  • public engagement opportunities via social media and public outreach events

Duration: July 15th – August 12th

Cost: $4,475 CAD

What’s Included?: Cost includes 3 Credits from the University of New Brunswick, accommodations, most meals, field trips, and swag. Transportation to location and lunches are separate.

Deadline: March 1st

Link: https://www.unb.ca/fredericton/arts/departments/anthropology/research/bioarchaeology/index.html


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HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY


Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest

Description: The field school provides a foundation in current methods and theories of historical archaeology, and offers a solid introduction to the practical skills of site survey, excavation, recording, and laboratory procedures. Students will also actively participate in our ongoing interpretation of archaeology to the public. In the summer of 2023, field school participants will excavate sites associated with Poplar Forest’s enslaved residents and the plantation’s early infrastructure. Sites that will be investigated will include searching for the location of a stable, slave quarter, and other structures associated with Jefferson’s retreat home and plantation, as well as later residents. This includes the opportunity to explore the archaeology of a standing brick quarter, which was built in the 1850s and continued to house African American residents in the years following emancipation. Students will work with the professional staff to better understand the lives of the individuals living and working at these sites by studying the material remains recovered from the summer’s excavations. These sites will reveal new data about the daily lives of people who laboured on this plantation. This data can be compared with multiple sites that have already been excavated at Poplar Forest, allowing us to trace the plantation layout and the ways it changed at Poplar Forest over time. The study of this site will also provide new information for Poplar Forest’s interpretive efforts that can be included in signage and tours that help our visitors better understand the landscapes and lives of the many people, both free and enslaved, that lived on this plantation.

Expectation: Students will spend 40 hours a week at Poplar Forest, with most of the time split between the excavation site and the archaeology laboratory. Strenuous daily activity will require physical endurance and good health. Participants will have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment and software, including a total station for recording field information, GPS receivers for collecting spatial data over large areas, a database system containing both the archaeological artifact and context records, and a complete inventory of over 3,000 historical documents relating to Poplar Forest.


The program includes weekly readings on topics in historical archaeology; lectures by staff and noted authorities covering such topics as landscape history, plantation life, and nineteenth-century material culture; the archaeology of the African Diaspora in America and beyond; environmental archaeology; professional opportunities in historical archaeology; and the role of public archaeology in our world today. As part of the program, students will also participate in a half-day workshop on architectural restoration and preservation philosophy. On-site work is supplemented by field trips to sites where historical archaeology is underway. Students will be asked to observe and evaluate strategies used by these sites to incorporate archaeology into their public interpretation.

Duration: June 5th - July 14th (6 weeks)

Cost: $4,929 USD

What’s Included?: Cost includes 6 credits from the University of Virginia’s School of Arts and Sciences. Transportation to location, accommodation and meals are all separate.

Application Deadline: April 1st

Link: https://www.poplarforest.org/learn/educational-programs-and-resources/archaeology-field-school/


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Jamestown Rediscovery Project

Description: Be part of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project’s ongoing mission to excavate, interpret, preserve, conserve, and research findings from the site of England’s first successful colony in North America by participating in Jamestown Rediscovery’s annual Archaeological Field School.

Expectations: Jamestown’s Field School provides a unique opportunity for students to contribute to the research and interpretation of early 17th-century English America. The Field School, jointly offered by the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation and the University of Virginia, introduces participants to the methods and theories of American historical archaeology through hands-on fieldwork. Students will be helping to expand our understanding of the site of James Fort (1607-1624). Throughout the Field School, students will learn excavation and recording procedures and identify and interpret 17th-century European and First People’s artifacts. In addition, the Field School will include field trips and weekly seminars exploring recent contributions of historical archaeology to colonial history, new field recording and interpretation methods, and a survey of the recent literature in the discipline. Both novice and experienced students will learn practical archaeological skills, and the course is also an excellent educational opportunity for teachers seeking recertification in the social studies content area.


Students will be required to attend classes 40 hours a week (Monday-Friday), with most of that time spent on-site working on the excavation. Strenuous daily activities will require physical endurance and excellent health. Students also will spend time processing and learning to identify artifacts from the early Anglo-American settlement period in the Jamestown Rediscovery laboratory. Students will be required to keep a journal of their field, lab, and seminar work.

Duration: May 30th – July 7th (5 Weeks)

Cost: $4,875 USD

What’s Included?: Cost includes 6 Credits from the University of Virginia. Transportation to location, accommodation and meals are all separate.

Deadline: April 3rd

Link: https://historicjamestowne.org/archaeology/archaeological-field-school-2023/


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ZOOARCHAEOLOGY


Zooarchaeology in Theory & Practice – Analyzing Materials from the L.A. Natural History Museum & Channel Islands

Description: This is a laboratory program, focused on the identification and interpretation of archaeological faunal materials. In addition to covering theoretical approaches to faunal remain interpretations, laboratory coursework will concentrate on developing proficiency in identifying mammal, fish, bird, and herptile specimens. In addition to learning species identification, students will study taphonomic processes, assemblage formation, and the use of bone data to investigate archaeological research questions.

Expectation: Students will learn how to use comparative collections for actual research of materials excavated archaeologically. Using the Natural History Museum comparative collections, students will archaeological materials from the Channel Islands (including remains from Daisy Cave and the Big Dog Cave as well as 19th-century historic material recovered from the area surrounding the museum. The course is designed to develop experienced and capable researchers in zooarcheology, a first step to a possible career in academia or the Cultural Resource Management sector. Students will be shown the many career pathways available to anthropology majors and will prepare application materials for a job in their preferred pathway. Students will be trained in both academic writing and public interpretation of faunal materials. Honours thesis and graduate-level research work with the collections is possible and encouraged.


The objective of this program is to prepare students to perform zooarchaeological analyses for both academic and non-academic contexts. This objective is accomplished by 1) providing students with the practical skills to identify animal bones from archaeological sites, 2) teaching students how to employ zooarchaeological assemblages to answer broader research questions, 3) preparing students for both academic and non-academic careers through the preparation of job application materials and 4) experience in writing zooarchaeological interpretation for both scholarly and public audiences. Students will engage in hands-on analyses of zooarchaeological assemblages from the Channel Islands and document their analyses for interpretation and reporting. Students will use the comparative collection at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. Students will participate in the cleaning, sorting, tabulation, and curation of the zooarchaeological material used during this program.

Duration: June 12 – July 8th (4 weeks)

Cost: $3,290 USD

What’s Included?: Cost includes 8 Credits from Iowa Wesleyan University. Accommodation, meals and transportation to location are all separate.

Application Deadline: - - -

Link: https://www.fieldsciences.org/program/2023-us-ca-zooarchaeology/


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Zooarchaeology and Field Ecology at Range Creek Canyon, Utah

Description: Zooarchaeology is an interdisciplinary subfield of archaeology focused on the analysis of animal remains from archaeological contexts to address questions involving past human foraging behavior, paleoecology, and paleoclimate. The foundation of this research is the identification of archaeological vertebrate bones and teeth but much of the meaning of those data resides in knowledge about the behavior, ecology, and natural history of the identified species. This novel, hands-on, laboratory- and field-based course is designed not only to train students in the identification and analysis of fragmentary vertebrate remains but to provide them with a rich background in the natural history of vertebrate animals that is essential to conducting zooarchaeological research. Unlike any other archaeological field experience, students will gain expertise in the identification of fragmentary vertebrate remains from archaeological contexts in the western U.S. and at the same time be immersed through daily field trips in the natural history and ecology of local vertebrate animals in a remote and scenic setting in Range Creek Canyon, Utah.

Expectations: Topics that will be covered include foraging theory, prey choice, the nature of the archaeofaunal record, units of quantification, taphonomy, ecological concepts and theory, vertebrate taxonomy and natural history, and skeletal preparation. Students gain additional experience in archaeological vertebrate identification and analysis through the completion of a problem-oriented research project based on the analysis of one of several provided faunal assemblages from sites in western North America. Students attend and present their research at the 19th Annual Zooarchaeology Conference held at the Range Creek Field Station the last day of the field school and thus attain invaluable experience in delivering professional conference presentations as well as the opportunity to network with prominent zooarchaeologists.

The course will begin a with five-day intensive introduction to zooarchaeology, vertebrate osteology, and natural history by zoom. Students will then meet in Salt Lake City and we will proceed from there on a 6-day camping field trip across the state of Utah. We will explore many of the most important archaeological sites in the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau (e.g., Danger Cave, Hogup cave, Lakeside Cave, Homestead Cave, Cowboy Cave, Sudden Shelter, Bonneville Estates Rockshelter) and study the different habitats and vertebrate faunas of the regions. We will then stay for the remainder of the course at the remote and scenic Range Creek Field Station in eastern Utah with continued field and lab studies and lectures on various topics in zooarchaeology. Students will complete a problem-oriented research project at the field station and present an oral presentation on that work at a conference on June 2. We depart on June 3.

Duration: May 8th – June 2nd (4 Weeks)

Cost: Approx. $3,463 USD

What’s Included? Cost includes 6 Credits from the University of Utah, accommodation, meals and field trips. Transportation to location is separate.

Deadline: March 1st

Link: https://anthro.utah.edu/fieldschools/zooarchaeology_fieldschool.php


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CRM


Applied Archaeology for CRM Careers, Kampsville, IL

Description: This program is a four-week, intensive field school experience designed to provide students with job-ready skills to enter the workforce as archaeological field technicians in the Cultural Resource Management (CRM) archaeology industry. Students will learn key skills necessary for CRM archaeology jobs, including survey, surface collection, shovel testing, excavation, laboratory techniques, relevant laws, and reporting. Students will learn the entire process of CRM archaeology practices, from data collection to data reporting and mitigation. Practical field and laboratory activities are supplemented by relevant readings and formal lectures.

Expectation: The objective of this program is to prepare students to enter the archaeological workforce in field technician positions in public and private CRM crews. This objective is accomplished by providing students with (1) practical experience in field and laboratory methods necessary for detecting and documenting archaeological sites, (2) instruction in the legal and consultation requirements of cultural resource management, and (3) experience in reporting of archaeological fieldwork. Students will engage in surface survey, shovel testing, and excavation at archaeological sites in the Lower Illinois River valley, documenting their fieldwork in preparation for interpretation and reporting. Students also participate in the cleaning, tabulation, and curation of archaeological material collected during their field experiences.

Duration: April 23rd – May 20th (4 Weeks)

Cost: $4,997 USD

What’s Included?: Cost includes 8 Credits from Iowa Wesleyan University, accommodation and meals (Monday through Saturday lunch). Transportation, Saturday dinners, and Sunday meals are separate.

Application Deadline: - - -

Link: https://www.fieldsciences.org/program/2023-us-il-crm-kampsville-i/


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Washington State University Archaeological Field School

Description: The field school is located in rural Pend Oreille County-part of the homelands of the Salish-speaking Kalispel. This is an environmentally, culturally, and historically rich region with much to explore and learn. In addition to learning about Tribal history and culture, students will help to document Kalispel land use and foodways at the Indian Creek site through the excavation of numerous earth oven features. Initial radiocarbon dating of cores at these features suggests the site was used over a span of 5000 years. Artifacts collected in the field will be analyzed in the project lab near our campsite, and a major focus will be on recovering clues about culinary traditions and diet through ethnobotany, flotation, and other analyses. which will help students to better understand cultural sequences, analyze material culture in detail, and learn about artifact curation and preservation. Field trips, along with visits from experts in the field of archaeology and other guests, will help to enhance the student appreciation and understanding of the region’s expansive natural and cultural history.

The Indian Creek project provides an exciting and rare opportunity to conduct cutting-edge scientific research and apply modern analytical techniques in a collaborative research context. Our emphasis is to develop a collaborative research model, that incorporates Tribal values and needs, while also training students (to work for and with Tribes, to better understand the context of their work).


Expectations: The 2023 Washington State University (WSU) archaeological field school is a collaborative project developed with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. The field school will take place in the scenic Pend Oreille County, northeastern Washington state, near the town of Newport, Washington. The field school is designed to prepare students for the evolving professional, academic, and compliance landscapes of archaeology. It provides a unique opportunity for students to participate in a research project investigating indigenous food systems while learning first-hand skills from a team of leaders in academic, Tribal, and cultural resource management (CRM) archaeology.


With a curriculum developed and taught in partnership with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians and Far Western Anthropological Research Group, the knowledge and skills students will gain will help them prepare for a variety of futures, including graduate school, work with Tribes and collaborative programs, and careers in the ever-expanding field of CRM (e.g., see Altschul and Klein 2022, “Forecast for the US CRM Industry and Job Market, 2022-2031“).

In addition to teaching students fundamental field and lab skills essential to diverse careers in archaeology, the field school will be a lot of fun! We will work hard in the field and lab, but also visit cultural sites, engage in lively discussions, participate in public outreach programs, and learn from Tribal experts about the Kalispel Tribe and their history.

Duration: May 22nd – June 16th (4 Weeks)

Cost: $3,923 USD

What’s Included? 6 Credits from Washington State University, camping accommodation and meals. Transportation to location is separate.

Deadline: March 1st

Link: https://anthro.wsu.edu/undergraduate-studies/field-schools/


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GENERAL


Hippos Excavation Project Israel

Description: Hippos Excavations Project is one of the main long running and exciting Classical Archaeology digs in Israel. As from the year 2000, our international team unearths various building complexes that allow a reconstruction of the ancient cityscape and a better understanding of public, military, private and funerary architecture. The ancient Graeco-Roman city of Hippos of the Decapolis is located on a hill above the Sea of Galilee, with one of the most breathtaking panoramas in Israel. We study and reconstruct the way of life of its inhabitants in the various periods, from its foundation in the Hellenistic period (mid-2nd century BCE), through its Roman-period time of prosperity (64 BCE – mid-4th century CE), to the Christian transformation in the Byzantine period (mid-4th to mid-7th century CE) and other changes that happened after the Islamic takeover (mid-7th century CE to 749 CE earthquake). Perched on an isolated hill and devastated by an earthquake after which it was never rebuilt, Hippos is an ideal site for archaeologists to study an evolution of a city.

Expectation: During the upcoming 2023 season, students will continue exploring the magnificently preserved Byzantine “Burnt Church” (Martyrion of Theodoros) with its mosaic carpets and inscriptions, a Roman-period cardo and its surrounding insulae, and the Roman-period Saddle Necropolis.


Students will take active part in all stages of the excavations process and finds processing after a short explanation of these activities, supervised by the area manager of the field that they will work at or the specialist in the field laboratory. Students will have the opportunity to use all tools and documentation instruments, after a verbal explanation and observation of the team members carrying out the tasks. Students interested in conservation will have the opportunity to join the field conservation efforts under the supervision of the project’s conservator. Students will take part in the weekly lectures organized in the evenings, where they will learn about regional history and various research threads connected to the works at the site, including tools that were used to carry out this research. Students are encouraged to get involved in the research themselves, with opportunities of working with the architecture remains, mosaics, frescoes, various installations, and portable finds. We invite students who seek Honorary Thesis or MA Thesis to reach out to us to find a subject suitable to their research interests and needs.

Duration: June 30th - July 27th (4 weeks)

Cost: $4,600 USD

What’s Included?: Cost includes 8 credits from Iowa Wesleyan University, insurance, accommodation, meals and field trips. Transportation to location is separate.

Application Deadline: March 15th

Link: https://www.fieldsciences.org/program/2023-israel-hippos/


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Italy Pompeii Funerary Project

Description: During the 1990’s, the Italian Government wanted to expand the rail system and initiated archaeological study along the planned rail tracks. By 1998, excavators discovered that a very large Roman cemetery lay just under the planned rail expansion. The entire project was discarded, and the area was left half exposed, deteriorating by the elements. The abandoned excavation established a few facts: (1) That a large cemetery was present just opposite the Porta Sarno, the oldest city gate at Pompeii. (2) That dozens of monumental tombs were present, likely belonging to illustrious citizens of ancient Pompeii; (3) That tombstones indicate burial both before and after the earthquake of 62 CE; (4) That the cemetery, just opposite the main road leading to Pompeii – the Via dell´Abbondanza – has likely been used for a very long time and may contain evidence of both pre Roman and Roman burials, and (5) That the abandoned excavations demonstrated excellent preservation of material record both of structures and of human remains. The initial excavators published no report. The site’s rapid deterioration and important significance for the understanding of ancient Pompeii motivated us to begin extensive excavation at the area in 2017. The Porta Sarno Necropolis project is now in its seventh season. The study of Porta Sarno Necropolis project offers an exceptional opportunity to investigate Roman society and its unique views of life and the afterlife. The study of the necropolis monuments, tombs, roads, walls, material culture and biological remains provide for contextual and careful understanding of how the funerary space was managed by the ancient inhabitants of Pompeii. Given the extensive excavations elsewhere at Pompeii, we can study how the necropolis evolved in relation to urbanism, legislation, religion, and the history of the city.

Expectation: The excavations at the Pompeii necropolis are a multidisciplinary project with the participation of a diverse group of experts. Both the human biological evidence and associated artifacts and features are studied to understand context, stratigraphy and cultural evolution. The program uses traditional excavation technique – trowels and shovels, sifting and sorting – as well at advanced analytical instruments, such as Total Stations, Portable energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (pXRF), and others. Human burial at the Porta Sarno Necropolis includes both inhumations and cremated deposits. For 2023, we plan to excavate at Area A and D, within a large structure dated to the Roman period and likely to contain diverse types of funerary deposits. Given the density of material record found elsewhere at the site, we anticipate a rich archaeological record that will include both human remains and artifacts. The Porta Sarno Necropolis is part of the ancient city of Pompeii but located outside the site’s contemporary security fences. That fortunate location allows us much flexibility with working hours and the ability to work without the constant distraction of tourists and visitors. Notwithstanding the above, we are still working in an ancient cemetery and respect to the dead is paramount to all of our activities. The relationships to and study of human remains in Europe differs widely from those practiced in North America. This is the result of different archaeological histories, traditions, and cultural norms. Archaeology in North American is almost exclusively part of anthropology and under the Social Sciences, emerging from the historical & intellectual tradition for the study of the “other”. In Europe, archaeology is a standalone discipline, usually within the Humanities, studying the past of the “collective ancestors”. These differences will be discussed broadly during the program, exploring the origin and current manifestation of cultural preferences and its relationships to death in each region. While we plan to have lively discussions, our goal is to present students with the different traditions and their reasoning, not to suggest one is better than the other. This program and its strong emphasis on the careful analytical study of cremated remains is relevant to students who wish to study Roman history, bioarchaeology and physical anthropology. The program will also serve well students who are interested in forensic studies of human remains and students interested in pursuing medical careers.

Duration: July 9th – August 5th (4 weeks)

Cost: $4,605 USD

What’s Included?: 8 Credits from Iowa Wesleyan University, insurance, accommodation and meals throughout the week. Transportation to location and meals on weekends are separate.

Application Deadline: - - -

Link: https://www.fieldsciences.org/program/2023-italy-pompeii/


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Italy Incoronata

Description: Incoronata is located in southern Italy, near the coast of the Gulf of Taranto (the ‘arch’ of the boot), in today’s Basilicata region. The site is distributed across a vast plateau overlooking the valley where the river Basento flows. In the 7th century BC its prominence likely served to attract travelers from the Aegean, who settled alongside the local community during the earliest phase of the Greek colonization, arguably the most consequential migration event of the ancient Mediterranean. The site offers a superb opportunity to investigate the development of an Early Iron Age Italic community and the culture contact dynamics they established with Greek newcomers at the outset of this historical watershed.


Occupation at Incoronata began at the end of the 10th century BC, the start of the Italian Early Iron Age. A vast cemetery, in use from the 9th to the middle of the 8th century BC, was excavated along the northern edge of the plateau, while remains of a contemporaneous settlement were uncovered nearby. Further evidence of occupation dating to the Early Iron Age was also found on the highest part of the plateau. While the rest of the plateau seems to have been deserted by the middle of the 8th century, this area continued to be used until the beginning of the 6th century, when Incoronata was abandoned. During the last century of its life, this area provides evidence of coexistence between local people and Aegean newcomers. This period corresponds to the early phase of the Greek colonization, which cast Greek settlers from the Black Sea to Spain and was a key catalyst for the creation of the interconnected, urbanized Mediterranean of the Classical period. At this time, along the Ionian Gulf coast and a few miles sea-ward from Incoronata, the colony of Metaponto also flourished, alongside Taranto to the southeast and Siris and Sybaris to the west, making this region the heart of what even[1]tually became Magna Graecia or Greater Greece.

Expectation/Schedule: The main objective of the field school is to provide students with a well-rounded understanding of archaeological fieldwork practice in the context of the ancient Mediterranean, from how research is designed and planned, to its every-day routines on and off-site, to its ongoing scientific interpretation. As such, this experience also aims to nurture student’s long-term interest in Mediterranean archaeology, and to allow them to develop the broader skills necessary to work in this and related disciplines, including self-confidence in field data-capture, hypothesis formulation, critical thinking, and teamwork. Students will receive five days of preliminary lectures, where they will be provided with all the information they need to fully engage in the field activities. At the same time, they will help opening the site. During the following three weeks of fieldwork, they will conduct excavation and laboratory work during weekdays, while weekends will be dedicated to on and off-site documentation, museum visits, field trips, and rest. More specifically, students will participate in the following activities:


Lectures: these will be concentrated in the first week and cover the fundamentals of Italian archaeology and history, provide background on the excavation history of Incoronata, and introduce students to the stratigraphic method of excavation and its single-context recording system. The lectures will take place on the same premises as the field school’s accommodation facilities.


Excavation: students will spend four weeks excavating at Incoronata. The site’s stratigraphy is highly variable, which will allow students to gain confidence in digging with every tool available to archaeologists. By working alongside expert trench supervisors, they will learn proper procedures for excavating a diversity of contexts, from large obliteration deposits, to walking surfaces, ritual pits with multiple use phases, and Early Iron Age structures. They will also be taught how to recognize and retrieve all artifacts and ecofacts found on site.


Laboratory: in the afternoon and (depending on progress) some mornings students will also actively participate in laboratory activities. Most of the finds at Incoronata consist of pottery, which can be hand- or wheel-made, local or imported, plain or decorated. During lab hours, students will thus learn to recognize the different pottery types present at the site. Incoronata has also produced a wide array of other finds, including metal ornaments, glass beads, slags, loom weights and spindle whorls, seeds, charred wood and faunal remains. Students will learn how to identify these finds and to clean, catalogue, document and store them.


Documentation: students will learn the different aspects of archaeological documentation, including how to keep an excavation diary, fill-out context sheets, use a level, draw sections, and photograph and draw the contexts that they excavate. During lab work, they will also be taught to catalogue bulk finds and draw finds.


Field trips: Field trips will be conducted on weekends. They will include: (1) visits to the archaeological museums in the region to allow students to gain familiarity with its ancient material culture; (2) visits to archaeological sites and other ongoing archaeological excavations; and (3) sightseeing of some of the most interesting and beautiful towns in Basilicata, including Matera and Craco. Explanations of the sites will be provided during the visits. Except for the visits to the Archaeological Museums of Metaponto and Policoro, all other field trips are optional and will be decided in consultation with the students

Duration: May 20th – June 18th (4 weeks)

Cost: $4,590 USD

What’s Included?: Cost includes 8 Credits from Iowa Wesleyan University, insurance, accommodation, meals and field trips. Transportation to location is separate.

Application Deadline: - - -

Link: https://www.fieldsciences.org/program/2023-italy-incoronata/


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LOW(ER) COST


Castelo Project 2023 – Excavation of a Bronze Age site in Portugal

Description: The site, approximately 14 ha in size, dates to the Late Bronze Age [LBA] and Iron Age of southwest Iberia. The LBA of the southwest has long been characterized by the apparent emergence of a new culture associated with defensiveness and warriorship, as represented by: (1) stone stelae depicting warrior iconography found in the wider region, and (2) the emergence of large, fortified sites that appear during this period.

Unfortunately, there has been a distinct lack of site-level investigations and data, thus leading to insufficient and generalizing interpretations of the LBA. Our project aims to contribute toward a more comprehensive understanding of this understudied period.


The site underwent a brief investigation in the early 2000s to safeguard surface artifacts in danger of being destroyed. Our 2018 season was the site’s first comprehensive excavation and uncovered the largest known Bronze Age hut (cabana​) in the southwest of Iberia. Work on the hut and surrounding areas of the site continued during the 2019 and 2022 seasons.

Expectations: This field school will train students in archaeological methods, such as excavation techniques, recording, illustration, and the handling and processing of artifacts. The field school will take students on weekly field trips to historical and archaeological sites and towns in Portugal and Spain.


Students who wish to gain experience in field archaeology and have an interest in prehistory are especially encouraged to apply!

Duration: August 6th - August 26th (3 Weeks) or August 6th – September 2nd (4 Weeks)

Cost: $1,500 USD for 3 weeks or $1,850 USD for 4 weeks

What’s Included? Accommodation, meals throughout the week and field trips. Transportation and meals on weekends are separate.

Deadline: May 1st

Link: https://www.casteloproject.com/


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Advanced Osteological Analysis in the Roman Necropolis of Sanisera

Description: The Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools offers an annual archaeology dig on the island of Menorca, off the coast of Spain. Since then it has organized courses for students who come from all over the world to study abroad and who are interested in anthropology and osteology.


The fieldwork focuses on the in-depth analysis of human skeletal remains excavated from the Roman necropolis at Sanisera. The aim is to use advanced osteological techniques to understand the lifestyle of the people who lived at this site.

Expectations: This course provides a unique opportunity to contribute to research on the individuals buried at the Roman necropolis at Sanisera. So far, more than 250 individuals from more than 50 tombs have been excavated, presenting a large amount of material from which we can understand the lifestyles of people in late antiquity. Participants will learn the techniques of analyzing and recording information from human skeletal remains in an archaeological context. In this lab-based course, both lecture and experiential learning will be used to enable students to gain confidence in the identification and analysis of various skeletal conditions.


We will cover skills in basic demographics, such as the techniques to determine age and sex of a skeleton, but will also progress to more advanced methodologies in osteological analysis. Students will learn skills such as: correctly measuring and recording skeletal elements according to set international standards, distinguishing between pathological and non-pathological bone and assessing patterns in pathological lesions, identifying marks on the skeleton that indicate how muscles were used during the person’s life (including determining left or right-handedness), and assessing nutritional status from bones and teeth. Additionally, participants will learn how to bring these different sources of information together to re-create the biological life history of the individuals buried at this site.


As the name implies, this course is designed for participants that have previously studied biological anthropology. This Sanisera Field School course does not include excavation but centers exclusively on the study and teaching of osteology using the remains excavated from the Roman necropolis.

Participants will learn to draw conclusions and reconstruct aspects of the population’s demographics, such as pathologies, illnesses, etc. Because this course is specifically centred on biological anthropological concepts, this course is limited to four participants in order to best assimilate and apply anthropological concepts.

Duration: May 1st – May 16th (2 Weeks)

Cost: $1,950 USD

What’s Included?: Certificate of Participation, insurance, accommodation and field trips. Meals and transportation to location are separate.

Deadline: May 1st

Link: https://www.casteloproject.com/


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Tel Lachish - Austrian Expedition

Description: Tel Lachish is one of the most important sites of the Bronze and Iron Ages (c. 3300–586 BCE) in present-day Israel. Finds of Early Bronze Age pottery testify to the fact that a substantial settlement must have already existed in the third millennium BCE at the latest. During the Middle and Late Bronze Age (c. 2000–1200 BCE), Lachish was a flourishing Canaanite city whose rulers maintained lively diplomatic exchanges with the pharaonic court in Egypt and other city-states in the region. Numerous imports from Egypt, Cyprus, and even from the Mycenaean palaces of Greece attest to the city’s importance in the second millennium BCE. During the Iron Age (c. 1200–586 BCE), Lachish was the most important city in Judah after Jerusalem. The Assyrian campaigns under King Sennacherib put a temporary end to the flourishing city in 701 BCE, an event mentioned in the Assyrian sources and the Hebrew Bible, and depicted on the famous Lachish Reliefs from Nineveh. The Assyrian conquest was followed by a second decisive blow around 586 BCE when the Babylonian army under King Nebuchadnezzar devastated Judah, conquered Lachish a second time, destroyed the First Temple in Jerusalem, and led the population into exile in Babylonian.

Duration: July 9th - August 4th (4 weeks)

Cost: Free

What’s Included?: Appears to include accommodation and meals (communally prepared). Flight to location is not included.

Deadline: March 1st

Link: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/dig/tel-lachish-austrian/


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SFU Local Field School (North Shore)

Description: The summer 2023 local field school will run during Intersession, and will consist of two courses: ARCH 434-3 Archaeological Field Methods, and ARCH 435-6 Field Work Practicum. ARCH 434 will be held on-campus in Burnaby for the first two weeks, and ARCH 435 will be held off-site for the final four weeks. Analysis and cataloguing will take place at SFU Burnaby in the final days of ARCH 435.

Duration: May 8th - June 9th (5 Weeks)

Cost: Approx. $2,134 CAD

What’s Included?: Cost includes 9 credits from Simon Fraser University. Transportation to site and meals

Deadline: March 3rd

Link: https://www.sfu.ca/archaeology/current-students/undergraduate/fieldschools/north-shore-2023.html

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