Archaeology Field Schools

Archaeology field schools are multi-week hands-on opportunities for students to learn up-to-date techniques of archaeological survey, excavation, and and site recording; get experience in analysis and artifact curation; and gain skills that will serve in a wide variety of future of archaeological jobs. Although typically for students, many field schools also welcome members of local historical or archaeological societies, or provide opportunities for the public to experience archaeology for themselves. Even if you're not planning on becoming an archaeologist, you can still attend a field school. Archaeology field schools are offered throughout the globe, and typically for college credit.    

To attend such a field school, you'll need stamina, clothes you don't mind destroying, a hat with a brim, and SPF 30 sunblock. You'll need a strong sense of adventure; a stronger sense of humor; and the ability to work hard without complaining (too much!). But you might have the time of your life.

Archaeology field schools are offered by the Dare to Discover partners!


Stay tuned for details regarding 2015 archaeology field schools.  Below are examples of field schools offered in 2014.

Prehistoric Archaeology at Woodpecker Cave, Coralville Reservoir, Iowa

Woodpecker Cave Archaeological Field School
This shallow cave/rock shelter was occupied from Archaic through Late Woodland times. Students continued from previous years’ excavation in stratigraphic trenches through cultural levels in and in front of the shelter, to compare natural to cultural levels. They recovered substantial amounts of prehistoric artifacts. Students were trained in basic archaeological methods, including digging, mapping, drawing, recording artifacts in the field with a total station, and curation, preservation, and analysis of stone tools, ceramics, and ground stone in the lab. They learned how to make topographic maps from instrument survey points. Completion of this course generally qualifies students with a BA in Anthropology for an entry level Cultural Resources Management (CRM) job. 
 
For more information, contact Professor Enloe: 247 Macbride Hall, 335-0514, james-enloe@uiowa.edu
 

Lakeside Lab Summer Courses in Archaeology 

Iowa Lakeside Laboratory offered three different summer archaeology fieldwork courses: a 4 week session June 16-July 11; a 1 week session June 23-27; and a 2-week session June 30-July 11. For more information, please contact: John F. Doershuk, Ph.D. University of Iowa 319/384-0751 john-doershuk@uiowa.edu

Field Archeology 00L040:EX1 (IALL:1040)

Meets: June 16 to July 11, 2014

Nature of cultural and environmental evidence in archaeology and how they are used to model past human behavior and land use; emphasis on Iowa prehistory; introductory reconnaissance surveying and excavation techniques.
 
The 2014 Lakeside Laboratory archaeological field school will continue on-going research efforts in the Iowa Great Lakes region including excavations at the Milford Oneota site and possibly a Woodland site at Mini-wakan State Park. Previous Lakeside Laboratory summer archaeological field schools have investigated late prehistoric/protohistoric Oneota tradition sites since 1995, recovering large assemblages of diverse materials including arrow and spear points and other stone tools, decorated ceramic sherds, copper fragments, bison bones and other faunal remains, worked catlinite, glass trade beads, and a gun flint. Features related to semi-subterranean houses, hearths, and storage pits are preserved.
 
Participants will be introduced to the essential methods of field archaeology including artifact identification, site mapping, excavation techniques, artifact processing, and beginning analytical methods. The field school will include lectures on Iowa Archaeology and the culture history sequence of western Iowa as well as day trips to the Sanford Museum in Cherokee, Iowa and the Dixon Oneota site, as well as the Blood Run National Historic Landmark, Jeffers Petroglyphs, and Pipestone National Monument.
 
Students will participate in class activities from approximately 7:45 AM to 4:30 PM M-F, with lab or lecture activities up to two evenings per week. Weekends are free for touring as desired or enjoying the fun and sun of the Iowa Great Lakes region. Prerequisites: This is an introductory level course—no prior experience is required. Equipment: Equipment: This is a field course so be prepared to be outside all day. Sunscreen, hat, and good footwear (no open toe sandals) are required. Excavation and surveying equipment will be provided.

Field Archeology 00L030:EX1 (IALL:1030)

Students in this Field Archeology course will participate for one week in archeological school research projects in the Iowa Great Lakes region including excavations at the Milford Oneota site and possibly a Woodland site at Mini-wakan State Park. See Field Archeology, 00L:040, for details about previous excavations.
 
Participants will be introduced to the essential methods of field archaeology including artifact identification, site mapping, excavation techniques, artifact processing, and beginning analytical methods. The one-week field school will include lectures on Iowa Archaeology and the culture history sequence of western Iowa as well as day trips to such locations as the Sanford Museum in Cherokee, Iowa the Dixon Oneota site, the Blood Run National Historic Landmark, Jeffers Petroglyphs, and Pipestone National Monument.
 
Students will participate in class activities from approximately 7:45 AM to 4:30 PM M-F, with lab or lecture activities up to two evenings per week. Weekends are free for touring as desired or enjoying the fun and sun of the Iowa Great Lakes region.

Field Archeology 00L030:EX2 (IALL:1030)

Students in this Field Archeology course will participate for two weeks in archeological school research projects in the Iowa Great Lakes region including excavations at the Milford Oneota site and possibly a Woodland site at Mini-wakan State Park. See Field Archeology, 00L:040, for details about previous excavations. Participants will be introduced to the essential methods of field archaeology including artifact identification, site mapping, excavation techniques, artifact processing, and beginning analytical methods. The one-week field school will include lectures on Iowa Archaeology and the culture history sequence of western Iowa as well as day trips to such locations as the Sanford Museum in Cherokee, Iowa the Dixon Oneota site, the Blood Run National Historic Landmark, Jeffers Petroglyphs, and Pipestone National Monument.
 
Students will participate in class activities from approximately 7:45 AM to 4:30 PM M-F, with lab or lecture activities up to two evenings per week. Weekends are free for touring as desired or enjoying the fun and sun of the Iowa Great Lakes region.
 
Prerequisites: This is an introductory level course—no prior experience is required.

 

Natural Museum of History        Old Capitol Museum        University of Iowa Archaeology        Obermann        Public Policy Center        Iowa Centers for Enterprise        State Hygienic Laboratory