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2007 Archaeology Field School Directory from

Canada and USA Archaeology Field Schools

Archaeology Field Schools
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Arizona - Nevada State College field school in Anasazi archaeology of NW Arizona

Mt. Trumbull, AZ
Anasazi Pueblo II
Nevada State College ( is offering a 4-week archaeological field school in northwestern Arizona at Mt. Trumbull, just north of the Grand Canyon. This year we will be conducting archaeological survey and site recording; the session includes instruction in basic laboratory procedures and analyses of artifacts collected in previous years as well. We will record archaeological sites near the Nampaweap rock art site on the edge of Toroweap Valley. A number of C-shaped pueblos and field houses are known but not formally recorded, and it is likely many other sites will be found and recorded. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible.

Arkansas - Archaic in Arkansas

Jones Mill site, near Hot Springs, Arkansas
The focus of this summer's excavation will be on the Archaic period (ca. 6000-3000 years ago) deposits at this multicomponent prehistoric site.
The summer archeological field school is an intensive off-campus opportunity for students to learn archeological field methods and work closely with a professor on a research project while earning university credit. This summer, our research project will investigate Archaic period sedentism, craft specialization, and chipped stone (novaculite) tool production and exchange using excavations at a site on the Ouachita River near Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Colorado - Fort Garland Field School in Historical Archaeology

Fort Garland, Colorado
Primarily historic with visits to prehistoric sites. Historic Fort Garland was occupied as a military post from 1858 to 1883 with civilian occupation thereafter. Visits will be made to prehistoric Ute, Ancestral Pueblo, and other rock art and habitation sites.
We offer training in basic and advanced techniques of archaeological survey and excavation applicable to both prehistoric and historic sites. We place a special emphasis on applications of digital technology in archaeology, including total station survey, GPS mapping, remote sensing, and GIS databases for data storage, analysis, and representation.

Colorado - Utah State University's "Colorado Rocky Mountain High"

Lake City, Colorado area (
Paleoindian excavation; survey is likely to yield sites ranging in age from Clovis/Folsom through the historic era.
Join a team of 16 students from all over North America to test-excavate a 10,000 - 8,000 year-old site in the Southern Rocky Mountains and survey some of the highest prehistoric travel routes in the contiguous 48 United States. On your four-day breaks (from three 10-day sessions), you may go white-water rafting, hike one of the many "14-ers" (14,000' peaks) in the area, fish, soak in nearby hot springs, or otherwise enjoy the incredible beauty of southwest Colorado. Bonus: if you are really good, you may earn an opportunity to participate in an optional fourth 10-day session recording Paleoindian sites in Soda Springs, Idaho for a stipend that will help off-set your course fee.

Connecticut - Mohegan Tribe/ ECSU Archaeological Field School

The Mohegan Reservation - Connecticut
Pre- and Post European Contact Mohegan Reservation sites.
The Mohegan Field School takes place on one of the oldest Indian reservations in North America. The Mohegan archaeology program focuses on the broad sweep of Native life from ancient times through the 19th century. Our emphasis on working with contemporary tribal members and respect for living tribal cultures is unique and makes for a particularly rewarding field school experience. This summer we expect to work at a number of intriguing 18th century Mohegan reservation-era sites, at least one of which has Late Archaic, Terminal Archaic and Middle Woodland components.

Connecticut - University of Connecticut Summer Field School in Terrestrial Archaeology

Mashantucket Pequot & Hassanamisco Reservations & Adirondack Mountains-See Desc.
Both pre-Contact (pre-historic) and post-Contact (Historic) period sites will be excavated.
Learn about New England's Native Americans from the Pre-Contact through the 20th Century, and excavate an abandoned mining town in the Adirondacks! Plus spend 3 weeks camping with the field school.

Hawaii Archaeological Research Project

Kohala, Hawaii
Prehistoric and Historic
The Hawaii Archaeological Research Project (HARP) – a multi-year research program involving faculty from several universities including University of Hawai‘i, University of Auckland (New Zealand), and San José State University – will be offering an archaeological field school this summer in Kohala, Hawai‘i. Application and reference forms are available online now and due by March 15th, 2007.

Illinois - Cahokian Outlier Project

Lebanon, Illinois
Prehistoric, specifically the Late Woodland and Early Mississippian periods
This eight-week Field School in Archaeology will be held in the uplands east of the ancient American Indian city of Cahokia in southwestern Illinois, in an effort to document how religious-administrative facilities at the “Pfeffer” site were connected to Cahokia and to the nearby rural farming population. We will work at the edge of the quaint, modern-day town of Lebanon, Illinois, live in local housing, and conduct intensive excavations of the Late Woodland and Mississippian period remains of this important ancient town.

Indiana - Inidana Univ. Field School in Archaeology - Angel Mounds MIssissippian Townscape Project

Angel Mounds State Historic Site, Evansville, Indiana USA
The Angel Mounds site is a Mississippian town. The field school is an important part of the research program of the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University. Most field schools over the last decade also have focused on Late Prehistoric sites in central Indiana. The result of this work is an extensive array of published reports on settlement patterns, site structure and function, remote sensing, and analyses of pottery and of plant and animal remains from the excavated sites.
In the summer of 2007, Indiana University and the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology will offer an archaeological field school at the Angel Mounds State Historic Site near Evansville Indiana. Excavations will be guided by the results of a large-scale geophysical remote sensing survey of the site. The majority of the course will be devoted to hands-on instruction in archaeological survey and excavation techniques, the documentation of archaeological remains, and the interpretation of archaeological data. In addition, geoarchaeological and geophysical remote sensing instruction will be offered. Preliminary laboratory analysis will be interspersed with the fieldwork. Intensive lectures in the first few days will provide students with a background in various aspects of Indiana prehistory and with information on a variety of research methods and field techniques.

Maine - Abbe Museum Archaeological Fields School on the Maine Coast

Lamoine, Maine
Prehistoric, Ceramic Period
The Abbe Museum, well known for conducting outstanding archaeology programs, is offering an archaeological field school in summer 2007. Students will work with Maine State Archeologist Dr. Arthur Spiess on a coastal shell midden site in Lamoine, Maine. During the week of August 12-17, 2007, field school participants will conduct excavations, practice mapping the site, and learn about the analysis of artifacts.

Massachusetts - UMass Amherst and Historic Deerfield Summer Field School in Archaeology

Deerfield, Massachusetts USA
Historic New England
The UMass Amherst Historic Deerfield, Inc. Summer Field School in Archaeology has been studying the archaeologically and historically rich area of the Connecticut River Valley for over two decades. Students participate in ongoing research programs that have changed our understandings of the ways people lived their lives and created the landscapes of inland New England. Since you work on a research project, and since archaeological skills are best learned by supervised practice, we have a student teacher ratio of no more than 4 to 1.

Massachussetts - Middleborough Little League Site

Middleborough Little League Site, Middleborough MA
Middle Archaic through (expected) Middle Woodland
Students are invited to join in the work at the highly productive Middleborough Little League Site in Middleborough, Massachusetts. Extensive testing during 1998 - 2002 and 2006 revealed a very significant Middle to Transitional Archaic (6,200 – 2,900 years ago) processing station for ceremonial items. This course is an excellent introduction to field and lab skills in archaeology as well as a chance to get to know the local history of the area first-hand.

Montana Yellowstone Archaeological Field School

Yellowstone National Park
Summer, 2007
Students will spend five weeks living in Yellowstone National Park and working on prehistoric and historic archaeological sites in the Yellowstone River Valley near Gardiner, Montana.

New York - Schoharie Valley Arcaeology Project

Schoharie, New York
Late Archaic, Transitional, Woodland, Contact (ca. 3,000 B.C.-AD 1600)
This is a wonderful opportunity to get hands on training for students interested in future graduate work or CRM archaeology work. This is a newly discovered site that has the potential to significantly rewrite the books on New York State prehistory.

New York - The Archaeology of Slavery and Freedom in Early New York

Joseph Lloyd Manor site - Lloyd Harbor, NY
Historic period, 18th century focus
The Hosftra Archaeological field school offers the chance to be involved in the excavation and analysis of one of the first slave quarters to ever be investigated by archaeologists in America's northern states. The site was the home of Jupiter Hammon, a slave belonging to te Lloyd family for his entire life. Hammon was a poet and preacher and is one the first African Americans to ever be published. The archaeology of the slave quarter will be paired with Hammon's writings to examine diversity within the enslaved African community on Long Island.

New York - Upper Delaware Valley Field School

Hale Eddy area, Delaware County, NY
Prehistoric (multicomponent - Paleo through Late Woodland
Binghamton University will hold its 2007 field school on the Upper Delaware River within the Hale Eddy Prehistoric National Register District. Students will explore stratified lithic sites with multiple features discovered in 2006 as part of ongoing research in the valley. The sites date from the late Paleo-Indian through the Late Woodland periods covering almost 10,000 years of the past.

Ohio - Field School in Fort Ancient Archaeology

Dayton, Ohio
Late Prehistoric/Fort Ancient (ca., A.D. 1000-1500)
Much is known about the SunWatch site, a partially reconstructed Fort Ancient village located just south of Dayton, Ohio. However, very little is known about surrounding Fort Ancient settlements and the relationships between them. This field school will focus on assessing the site structure and temporal relationships for a few of the other Fort Ancient sites in the surrounding region. During this five-week field school, students will learn the basic principles of archaeological fieldwork, including techniques related to surface and subsurface investigations. Additionally, students will visit other archaeological sites, conduct preliminary lab work, attend guest lectures, and prepare for their future by attending a career workshop.

Ohio - Wright State University Field School in Archaeology

Fort Ancient Earthwork
Middle Woodland
After a week spent walking agricultural fields to find new sites, we will resume excavations at the Moorehead Circle at Fort Ancient, in southwest Ohio. This is a 60m-diameter Hopewell ceremonial feature that featured over 200 vertical posts around the Circle's perimeter, a 4x4m burned pit at the center, and probable prehistoric house floors. The Circle lay undiscovered in the North Fort of Fort Ancient until 2005 when it was detected by remote sensing. Wright State's Field School began its archaeological investigation in 2006, and will be investigating the central pit feature, the entranceway, and possibly one of the hosue floors in 2007.

PA - Death Scene Archaeology: Field Methods in the Location, Recovery, & Interpretation of Human

Erie, Pennsylvania
Modern forensic contexts will be addressed

Mercyhurst College Death Scene Archaeology: Field Methods in the Location, Recovery, and Interpretation of Human Remains from Outdoor Contexts

This five day course will introduce participants to the principles and methodologies of Forensic Archaeology. Lectures and mock outdoor crime scenes will be used to describe state-of-the art methods available to investigators during the documentation and recovery of physical evidence - including human remains - from a variety of outdoor, fire, and mass fatality contexts. Lecturers include board certified Forensic Anthropologists Dr. Dennis Dirkmaat and Dr. Steven Symes, and Dr. James Adovasio among others.

Pennsylvania - Exploring Pennsylvania

Penn State's Stone Valley forest
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
The Penn State Department of Anthropology will offer an archaeological field school at a nineteenth-century farmstead in Penn State's Stone Valley forest. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, numerous farms, mills, and charcoal furnaces—even three forts from the French and Indian War era—were located in the area around Shaver's Creek.

Texas - Archaeology Field School, South Texas

San Patricio, Texas
Paleo-Indian, Archaic, and Late Prehistoric periods
This course takes place in the lower Nueces River Valley of South Texas, an area where prehistoric hunting populations exploited floodplains, grasslands, and drainages for over 2500 years. The training is comprehensive and provides a unique, life-altering educational experience. Students are trained in survey, excavation, and laboratory techniques and methods, and prepare a final research report and public talk. Participants benefit from working and learning with students and volunteers from diverse universities throughout the U.S. The school is recognized and supported by the Texas Archeological Society and the Texas Historical Commission. It is fully accredited and represents one of the only academic field school training courses in the region.

Texas - Lubbock Lake Landmark

Lubbock, Texas
The Landmark contains a continuous late Quaternary record, from Clovis (11,100 B.P.) through Anglo-Historic (A.D. 1880-1950). Areas to be worked in 2007 are Folsom (10,000 BP) and Ceramic (AD 122-1450).
Join an ongoing field research program (not a field school) of international volunteer crew working with professional staff and experienced crew chiefs to conduct survey, geoarchaeological prospecting, mapping, and excavations at the Lubbock Lake Landmark and upper Brazos River system. While the Landmark’s field camp serves as home base, explorations currently focus on five locations within the ancient river valley drainage from the Landmark downstream 121 miles (195 km). Current excavations at the Landmark focus on a Ceramic period (A.D. 1200-1450) plant processing area along the valley rim that features numerous overlapping hearth pits choked with hearthstones and use of bison bone as fuel. Depending on favorable circumstances, the Clovis-age large game-animal processing station along the ancient waterway may be reopened and assessed. Downstream, pedestrian survey, topographic mapping, and testing cont

Utah - University of Utah Archaeological Summer Field School

Range Creek Canyon, Utah
Fremont (700 to 1300 AD) and historic ranching 1900's
The University of Utah's summer program in archaeological field methods will be held at Range Creek Canyon. Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Utah Museum of Natural History, this eight-week field course is designed to teach basic archaeological field methods. Under the direction of Duncan Metcalfe (Associate Professor of Anthropology), participants will receive training in a variety of field techniques including survey, mapping, soil identification, and aspects of paleo-ecological research. No previous experience is necessary, but some exposure to basic archaeological and anthropological concepts is recommended. Admission to the field school is limited to 12 students. Admission is by application only. Priority for admission will be given to current University of Utah students and those pursuing a professional career in archaeology or a related discipline. Students will earn 8 semester credits upon successful completion of the field school (Anthr. 5712).

Virginia - 2007 Monticello-UVA - The Archaeology of Chesapeake Slavery and Landscape

Charlottesville, Virginia
Historic U.S.
The Monticello-UVa Field School is a well established program that emphasizes anthropological and interdisciplinary method and theory. Classroom lectures balance a rigorous field program and laboratory practice. Excavation at 18th century sites on the Monticello plantation is a part of the ongoing research of the Monticello Department of Archaeology.

Virginia/New York - UC Berkeley: The Archaeology of Slavery and Abolition, Virginia and New York

Surrey County, Virginia and Fayetteville, New York
historic, 19th century
Field school participants will excavate for three weeks in Virginia, at Bacon’s Castle slave quarter in Surry County, Virginia, and for three weeks at the Matilda Joslyn Gage house site in upstate New York. This will give students the unique opportunity to gain experience in archaeological field, lab, and research methods at two different sites, including the homes of enslaved African Americans and the home of a white abolitionist that also served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Central America, South America and Carribean Archaeology Field Schools

Archaeology Field Schools
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Belize - Blue Creek Archaeological Project

Belize, Central America
Classic and Preclassic Maya
This is a great opportunity to become part of a long-term project seekking to understand the Maya civilization. The Blue Creek project conducted summer fieldwork annually since 1992 and more than 1000 students and volunteers have participated. Our focus is the ancient Maya city of Blue Creek. This summer, excavations will focus on two elite residential groups and a buried wooden structure in the nearby wetlands. Additional survey and mapping work will be done at the nearby site of Najol Na. We will have 3 two-week sessions in 2007. Participants may join us for 1, 2, or 3 sessions. There are a maximum of 30 participants in each session.

Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance (BVAR)

San Ignacio town, Cayo District, Belize and Caves Branch area
Focus on the ancient Maya from Preclassic to Terminal Classic periods
The upcoming BVAR season will be educational, physically and mentally challenging, and fun. The expanding efforts of the BVAR project reflect the ever-increasing role of Belize in the archaeological arena. Each person who joins with us now has the promise of contributing significantly to the Maya archaeological record. We hope it will be the experience of a lifetime!

Dominican Republic - ADMAT “Tile Wreck” Maritime Archaeological Field School

Monte Cristi, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.
This is a very “hands on” field school teaching the practical aspects of maritime archaeological field work while surveying and excavating an AD 1690’s shipwreck carrying building material and French pottery. A chance to study the making of “the New World” while gaining practical experience.

Jamaica - The Falmouth Field School in Historical Archaeology, Falmouth, Jamaica

Falmouth, Jamaica
Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
The Falmouth Field School in Historical Archaeology (UVA ANTH 382) is a three-week, three-credit program in historical archaeology based in Falmouth, Jamaica. Students will conduct archaeological field work at Stewart Castle, an 18th-century sugar plantation located on the north coast of Jamaica. Excavation will focus on the mid-to-late 18th-century slave village and will also include testing around the ruins of the fortified great house. Students will live in Falmouth, Jamaica and travel daily to the site, which is located in the bush approximately 10 minutes east of Falmouth.

Peru - Huari-Ancash Archaeological and BioArchaeological Project Peru 2007

Peru - Ancash - Huari
2004 -2005 -2006
Students participating in this field school program have the opportunity to spend more than 160 hours of archaeological work at the site. The supervisors of each excavation area are prepared to teach students basic concepts of archaeological excavation, registry of materials, and technical drawing of excavation areas. Additionally the program provides resources for developing skills in digital photography documentation of archaeological artifacts in the field laboratory. The programmed activities also include archaeological explorations in other sites in the valley as well as visits to nearby foreign and national archaeological digs (Chavin de Huantar). Field School students will assume responsibilities in the scientific work required by the archaeological excavations. Each excavation unit at Marcajirca has a qualified person who is in charge of directing and instructing students of that unit. Furthermore, participating students are also encouraged to make significant decisions which will lead to a better understanding of the archaeological events that take place at the research site.

Peru - University of North Carolina Field School in South American Archaeology

Peru in the Moche Valley on the north coast
The field school site is Ciudad de Dios, which is an elite residential center dating to AD 400-600. The site pertains to the Moche culture.
If you are interested in traveling to Peru, excavating ancient households, touring world-famous archaeological sites, and hiking in the Andes, then you should take the UNC Field School in South American Archaeology. Students on the field school excavate elite Moche households and workshops at Ciudad de Dios in the Moche Valley on the north coast of Peru, while living on the beach in Huanchaco. In addition, student participate in workshops on artifact analysis, learn about the prehistory of the Andes, and conduct several days of archaeological survey in the foothills of the Andes. On Saturdays we tour local archaeological sites (such as Chan Chan, El Brujo and Huaca de la Luna), and at the end of the field season we travel to historic Cajamarca in the highlands.
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Europe, Mediterranean & Middle East Archaeology Field Schools

Archaeology Field Schools
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France - International Field School at Marsal, France

Marsal (Moselle) FRANCE
Primarily Iron Age/Celtic (750 to 50BC) although sites from Mesolithic to medieval are found during survey
Professional training provided by practising professional archaeologists: the Field School aim is to provide students with training of the highest professional standard – within an internationally respected research project, the Projet Briquetage de la Seille– that is directly relevant to developing a career as a professional archaeologist. All training takes place within a dynamic, innovative and international atmosphere. Students at the Field School are not simply a labour force for someone else’s research! Our training focuses on understanding the Briquetage de la Seille - an Iron Age/Celtic landscape of salt-making workshops, settlements and cemeteries which comprise perhaps the most important centre for proto-industry in Europe. We provide specific, targeted and formal training on as full a range of archaeological methods and techniques as possible while also stressing the importance of working as part of a team and wider community: key elements to becoming a successful professional archaeologist.

France - La Balagne Landscape Archaeology Field School (Island of Corsica)

The island of Corsica, France
Neolithic to late historic.
The summer quarter 2007 University of Washington field school in Corsica will offer a chance to learn about landscape archaeology, archaeological survey techniques, GPS mapping, GIS, field databases, geoarchaeology, and Mediterranean archaeology in a stunning area where little archaeology has been done. The field school offers a full 12 academic credits, and is conducted in association with researchers from the Université Pascal Paoli of Corsica and the University of Winchester in the UK.

Greece - Mitrou Archaeological Project Basic and Advanced Mortuary Field Schools in Bronze and Iron

Mitrou, a tidal islet in the bay of Atalanti, opposite the island of Euboea
Prehistoric: Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Greece
Situated in a beautiful bay, surrounded by mountains, the tidal islet of Mitrou is home to a a prehistoric settlement with monumental buildings, streets and cemetaries from both the Bronze and Iron Age. As the site was inhabited continuously for at least the entire Bronze Age and the transition to the Early Iron Age, students in the Basic Field School learn about crucial transitions in Greek prehistory, and how to dig complicated stratigraphy. Students in the advanced field school will focus on the excavation and analysis of burials. All students do fieldwork in the mornings, and attend classes and field trips on some afternoons

Ireland - Achill Archaeological Field School

Achill Island (5 locations see description)
Prehistoric and historic sites currently under archaeological investigation
Experience island archaeology in the ruggedly beautiful West of Ireland. 1-Week, 4-Week, 6- Week, 8-Week courses offered from January to October, 2007. Participate in the excavation and documentation of a variety of sites, including a megalithic tomb, crannog, booley village, unclassified hut sites and a Medieval/Post Medieval Deserted Village.

Israel - Tel Dor Excavations: Archaeological Field School in Israel

Tel Dor (modern Nahsholim), Israel: a coastal site, just north of Caesarea
Iron Age, Assyrian, Persian Period, Hellenistic, Roman.
Dig Israel! The Tel Dor Team is actively recruiting volunteers for a five-week excavation seasion running from 26 June through to 28 July 2007. This season, the international consortium of faculty and researchers, directed by prof. Ilan Sharon (Hebrew U.) will resume our work on one of the archaeologically richest and visually most spectalar sites in coastal Israel. Periods of habitation range from Iron Age through to Roman (there is something for everyone here!) and this season we will be focusing on Roman, Hellenistic, Persian Period, and Iron Age strata. The 'formal' (credit-granting) component of the Field School (for which you must register separately, details below) offers an rigorous, high caliber, and highly collegial, way of getting even more out of the already fantastic experience of excavating-while-learning. We are a teaching excavation, which means no prior experience is necessary: come

Israel - Tel Rehov Academic Credit Field School

Tel Rehov: in the Beth Shean Valley, an hour and a half drive north of Jerusalem
Late Bronze Age (13th century BCE), Iron Age I (12th-11th centuries BCE) , Iron Age II (10th-8th centuries BCE)
Tel Rehov affords a unique opportunity to excavate a multi-layered mound with rich finds dating from the Late Bronze to the Iron Age, guided by one of the most illutrious and experienced archaeologists in Israel: Prof. Amihai Mazar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The emphasis is on providing the student an opportunity to experience all facets of field work and documentation, enabling him or her to take on supervisory positions in archaeology in the future. In addition to the field work, we also take our students on excursions to sites of archaeological interst in the region. This is the best training ground you will find if you want to be a dirt archaeologist who is also involved in academic archaeology.

Israel - Yavneh Yam Archaeological Project, Israel - Bronze Age through the Middle Ages

Yavneh Yam (20 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, on the coast)
The extent of the excavation this year will depend on the number of participants. We will select archaeological strata dating from about 700 BC to 700 AD
The site of Yavneh-Yam is located on the Mediterranean coast, between Jaffa (Tel Aviv) and Ashdod. During six seasons of excavations carried out by us so far (1992-2005) settlement remains have been found from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages (second millennium BCE to 12th century CE) reflecting multi-ethnic cultural encounters through the ages. Finds have included Egyptian scarabs, Attic pottery, Hellenistic figurines, Samaritan oil lamps and gold Byzantine coins. The primary purpose of the coming season is to deepen our knowledge of the site and to investigate the nature of these encounters.

Israel- Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project

Tell es-Safi/Gath, in central Israel, half way between Jerusalem and Ashkelon
Throughout season
The Field School of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project offers a unique opportunity to excavate at one of the most interesting sites in the near east (with among others, Canaanite, Philistine, Israelite, Persian, Hellenistic, Crusader, Ottoaman remains), with some of the most fascinating recent finds (worlds earliest siege system, the so-called "Goliath Inscription", etc), and at the same time learn various field techniques (excavation, registration, remote sensing, scientific applications in archaeology, etc.), and hear regular lectures on topics related the archaeology of Israel, history, bible and related topics, topping it off with field trips to archaeological sites in the region. And all of this is conducted in a very fun, friendly and warm environment!

Israel: Then and Now

Tell Beth Shemesh, Israel
Sunday through Thursday/ June 17-July 14
Brooklyn College's "Israel: Then and Now" summer program combines excavation at an important Bronze and Iron Age site in central Israel with an introduction to the society of modern Israel, taught in Jerusalem, in a single summer session. Both the rich history of the lad and its current inhabitants are highlighted. Students learn both archaeological and sociological techniques in a field and classroom setting.

Italy - Archeological Field School in Puglia, Italy

Altamura, Puglia, Italy
6th to 4th centuries B.C.
Excavations at the Monte Sannace Archaeological Park are schedule from June 21st through July 20th, in the Puglia region of Southern Italy. This program includes a schedule of university lectures (James Madison University, Virginia) as well as field excavation and lab work, and a number of field trips will offer a greater experience in the history and archeology of this region. Four credits may be acquired through JMU, or this may be taken independently with no credits, but you must attend from the beginning of the coursework and be a full participant in the program.

Malta - Off the beaten track... Anthropological Summer Field School in Malta

Gozo, Malta
No specific period.
The course is directed towards young anthropologists and cultural scientists; however, any individual who would like to learn about anthropological research is welcome. Previous knowledge or experience is not required. We aim for a very individual program that can start at any level. Even PhD research (or pre-research) can be included and guided. The school has a strong socio-cultural focus, but any topic can be included in the individual program of the student. The course runs for 20 days, starting on the 28th of July ending on August 16, 2007. The five working days of the weeks will be reserved for fieldwork, fieldtrips as well as ‘college lectures’ by academic experts: In addition, participants will have the possibility to undertake a PADI underwater diving course or a course in anthropological photography during spare time (the fee is not included in the course price).

Spain - Field School for Quaternary Palaeoanthropology and Prehistory of Murcia, S.E.Spain

See description for Session 1 and Session 2 locations
Session 1; Middle Pleistocene, at least 400,000 - Session 2; Neanderthals from levels dated to between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago - See description for more details.
Our hominin fossils and the palaeolithic and associated environmental remains are outstanding. Cueva Negra is dated to early in the Middle Pleistocene, at least 400,000 years ago (according to both optical sediment luminescence dating and arvicolid rodent biostratigraphy), and has Homo heidelbergensis remains together with both an Acheulian handaxe and Levalloiso-Mousteroid flake tools, from over two metres down in the 5-metre deep Pleistocene sedimentary fill of the large rock-shelter. Sima de las Palomas has remains of 8 or 9 Neanderthals from levels dated to between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago, Levalloiso-Mousterian flake tools, traces of a fireplace area, and all of this is in only the uppermost three metres of an exposed 18-metre high column of fossiliferous breccia that was partly removed by miners a hundred years ago when they were almost certainly looking for water at the bottom.

Spain - Mediterranean Archaeological Field School (Island of Menorca)

Menorca, Spain
Late Iron Age, Roman, and Islamic Period (1st B.C. to 15th c. A.D.)
Boston University’s Mediterranean Archaeological Field School takes place at the site of Torre d’en Galmès on the island of Menorca, Spain. The program will consist of a six-week excavation campaign combined with lectures, museum and laboratory work, and study tours of the island’s cultural and historical monuments. Students will excavate a structure built during the late Iron Age Period, around the third century B.C., that was later reused during the Roman occupation of the island. The field school will focus on the use of domestic space from the late Iron Age through the Roman Period to Medieval times. The field school is based in the beautiful port city of Mahón, now the modern capital of Menorca.

Spain - Sopeña Archaeological Project: The Middle and Early Upper Palaeolithic in N. Spain

Asturias region of northern Spain
The shelter ranges from the Mousterian to the Gravettian, that is from some 65.000 to some 25.000 years ago. We are now digging sediments that are 27-29.000 years old, containing remains of the Gravettian culture. The Gravettian was the first pan-European culture, with a complex and homogeneous belief system organized around the female concept. Plump Gravettian godess or "venus" figurines are widespread in the Gravettian Europe and we are hoping that we will find ours this coming season!
Neanderthals lived at the Sopeña rockshelter for many millenia (Levels 12 to 16) -at least since 60.000 to 42.000 years ago, and subsequently the shelter was occupied by Cro-magnon for many millenia more. Finds are extremely abounding and preservation is outstanding. Currently we are digging Level III, thought to be Gravettian, rich in charcoal, ochre, stone tools and bone fragments as well as decorated objects and personal ornaments. Excavation and recording are carried out with the most updated state-of-the-art technologies linked to GIS. There is work at the excavation in the rockshelter, and also at the fiedl laboratory down in the village. Work takes place from Monday to Saturday, leaving home at 0800 am, and returning back at about 1900 pm. Minimum participation two weeks, four weeks preferred. This excavation was awarded a National Geographic Grant because of its quality and relevance of scientifi

Spain - The Roman Conquest of the Mediterranean (Island of Menorca)

Island of Menorca, Spain
Early Roman period
We are currently excavating a Roman military fort from 123 B.C. Each new room excavated gives us answers to how Roman soldiers lived over 2000 years ago during the vast expansion of the Roman empire. Due to the low activity of modern man, Menorca’s natural and archaeological resources have remained remarkably preserved. This is demonstrated in Sanisera where the ruins remain virtually intact.

Spain - Underwater Archaeology in the Mediterranean Sea (Island of Menorca)

Menorca, Spain
Historic. Various occupations including Roman, Muslim and British.
The Ecomuseum of the Cape Cavalleria will be exploring the Roman port of Sanitja and the coast of the Cape of Cavalleria identifying structures of the Roman city of Sanisera as well as Roman shipwrecks. The course is designed to provide practical experience in underwater archaeological field work, from site discovery to lab analysis.

Ukraine - Black Sea Shipwrecks Program

Sudak, Crimea, Ukraine
The practical focus of the project is to provide basic training in the field techniques of underwater archaeology, and to further the study of Ukrainian history and that of the Crimean Peninsula. The field school is run by Kiev University Center for Underwater Archaeology (CUA); participants will learn how to survey and excavate underwater and how to handle, preserve and record artifacts in the field. Students will also participate in other aspects of post-excavation activities, including the maintenance of their equipment and conservation of artifacts.
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Africa, Asia, Australia & Pacific Archaeology Field Schools

Archaeology Field Schools
Archaeology Field Schools Search Add Your Archaeology Field School

Australia - Rock Art Field School

Kunbarlanja (Oenpelli) in Western Arnhem Land, Australia
Prehistoric - present
This fieldschool provides a unique opportunity for students to undertake 'community' archaeology in Australia. Students will have the chance to learn practical archaeological skills while at the same time developing other practical and personal skills necessary to conduct archaeological research with Australian Aboriginal communities. In particular, students will focus on the recording of rock art in its wider cultural context. The field school will involve some seminars, informal interaction with Kunbarlanja (Oenpelli) community members, and will also be directed towards in-depth practical recording skills necessary for rock art research in an archaeological framework.

China - Sino-American Field School of Archaeology

Xi'an, Shaanxi Province P.R. China
Pre-history through Tang

Ghana - Historical Archaeological Field School in Elmina, Ghana

In and near Elmina, located in central coastal Ghana.
The field school deals with the period of the historic Atlantic trade in coastal Ghana, approximately from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries.
Archaeology Field School Summary Syracuse University is pleased to announce its historical archaeological field school at the Elmina trading fortress and in the surrounding area of coastal Ghana. Directed by Dr. Christopher DeCorse of Syracuse University, and as part of the on-going Central Region Project, historical archaeological investigations will be conducted into the Atlantic trade and its cultural repercussions and implications in the region. This is a unique opportunity to participate in the ever-broadening field of the African Diaspora.

Hawaii Archaeological Research Project

Kohala, Hawaii
Prehistoric and Historic
The Hawaii Archaeological Research Project (HARP) – a multi-year research program involving faculty from several universities including University of Hawai‘i, University of Auckland (New Zealand), and San José State University – will be offering an archaeological field school this summer in Kohala, Hawai‘i. Application and reference forms are available online now and due by March 15th, 2007.

South Africa - The Middle Stone Age at Holley Shelter in South Africa

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Middle Stone Age
West Virginia Wesleyan College is excited to announce the first field season fof a new archaeological excavation in South Africa!! Holley Shelter is an early Middle Stone Age site dated to approximately 250,000 BP and it appears to have excellent bone preservation. The rockshelter is located in a private game reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa in the foothills of the Drakensburg Mountains. Holley Shelter appears to contain a long sequence of occupation with excellent bone preservation and may provide valuable insight into the behavior, cognition, and diet of early anatomically modern humans.
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Archaeology or archæology or sometimes in American English archeology (from the Greek words a??a??? = ancient and ????? = word/speech/discourse) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of cultural and environmental data, including architecture, artefacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. The goals of archaeology are to document and explain the origins and development of human culture, culture history, cultural evolution, and human behaviour and ecology. It is the only discipline that possesses the method and theory for the collection and interpretation of information about the pre-written human past, and can also make a critical contribution to our understanding of documented societies. Other subfields of anthropology supplement the findings of archaeology, especially cultural anthropology (which studies behavioural, symbolic, as well as material dimensions of culture), linguistics (which studies language, including the origins of language and language groups) and physical anthropology (which includes the study of human evolution and osteology). Other disciplines also supplement archaeology, such as paleontology (the study of prehistoric life), including paleozoology, paleoethnobotany and paleobotany, geography, geology, history, art history, and classics.

Archaeology has been described as a craft that enlists the sciences to illuminate the humanities.

Archaeology is an approach to understanding lost cultures and the mute aspects of human history, without a cut-off date: in England, archaeologists have uncovered the long-lost layouts of medieval villages abandoned after the crises of the 14th century and the equally lost layouts of 17th century parterre gardens swept away by a change in fashion. In downtown New York archaeologists have exhumed the 18th century remains of the Black burial ground.

In the study of relatively recent cultures, which have been observed and studied by Western scholars, archaeology is closely allied with ethnography. This is the case in large parts of North America, Oceania, Siberia, and other places. In the study of cultures that were literate or had literate neighbours, history and

Excavation is just one stage of archaeological research.

Importance and applicability

Most of human history is not described by any written records. Writing did not exist anywhere in the world until about 5000 years ago, and only spread among a relatively small number of technologically advanced civilisations. These civilisations are, not coincidentally, the best-known; they have been open to the inquiry of historians for centuries, while archaeology has arisen only recently. Even within a civilisation that is literate at some levels, many important human practices are not officially recorded. Any knowledge of the formative early years of human civilisation - the development of agriculture, cult practices of folk religion, the rise of the first cities - must come from archaeology.

Even where written records do exist, they are invariably incomplete or biased to some extent. In many societies, literacy was restricted to the elite classes, such as the clergy or the bureaucracy of court or temple. The literacy even of an aristocracy has sometimes been restricted to deeds and contracts. The interests and world-view of elites are often quite different from the lives and interests of the masses. Any writings that were produced by people more representative of the general population were unlikely to find their way into libraries and be preserved there for posterity. Thus, written records tend to reflect the biases of the literate classes, and cannot be trusted as a sole source. The material record is nearer to a fair representation of society, though it is subject to its own inaccuracies, such as sampling bias and differential preservation.

In addition to their scientific importance, archaeological remains sometimes have political significance to descendants of the people who produced them, monetary value to collectors, or simply strong aesthetic appeal. Many people identify archaeology with the recovery of such aesthetic, religious, political or economic treasures rather than the reconstruction of past societies.

This view is often espoused in works of popular fiction, such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Mummy, and King Solomon's Mines where the field has become profitable fodder for entertainment. When such unrealistic subjects are treated more seriously, accusations of pseudoscience are invariably levelled at their proponents (see Pseudoarchaeology, below). However, these endeavours, real and fictional, are not representative of the modern state of archaeology.


There is still a tremendous emphasis in the practice of archaeology on field techniques and methodologies. These include the tasks of surveying areas in order to find new sites, and digging sites in order to unearth the cultural remains therein, and classification and preservation techniques in order to analyse and keep these remains. Every phase of this process can be a source of information.

The goals of archaeology are not always the same. There are at least three broad, distinct theories of exactly what archaeological research should do. (These are beyond the scope of the present discussion, and are discussed at length below.) Nevertheless, there is much common ground.

Academic sub-disciplines

Main article: Archaeological sub-disciplines

As with most academic disciplines, there are a very large number of archaeological sub-disciplines characterised by a specific method or type of material (e.g. lithic analysis, archaeobotany), geographical or chronological focus (e.g. Near Eastern archaeology, Medieval archaeology), other thematic concern (e.g. landscape archaeology), or a specific archaeological culture or civilisation (e.g. Egyptology).

Cultural resources management

Cultural resources management (CRM) (also called heritage management in Britain) is a branch of archaeology that accounts for most research done in the United States and much of that in western Europe as well. In the United States, CRM archaeology has been a growing concern since the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and most of the archaeology done in that country today proceeds from either direct or related requirements of that measure. In the United States, the vast majority of taxpayers, scholars, and politicians believe that CRM has helped to preserve much of that nation's history and prehistory that would have otherwise been lost in the expansion of cities, dams, and highways. Along with other statutes, this mandates that no construction project on public land or involving public funds may damage an unstudied archaeological site.

The application of CRM in the United Kingdom is not limited to government-funded projects. Since 1990 PPG 16 has required planners to consider archaeology as a material consideration in determining applications for new development. As a result, numerous archaeological organisations undertake mitigation work in advance of (or during) construction work in archaeologically sensitive areas, at the developer's expense.

Among the goals of CRM are the identification, preservation, and maintenance of cultural sites on public and private lands, and the removal of culturally valuable materials from areas where they would otherwise be destroyed by human activity, such as proposed construction. This study involves at least a cursory examination to determine whether or not any significant archaeological sites are present in the area affected by the proposed construction. If these do exist, time and money must be allotted for their excavation. If initial survey and/or test excavation indicates the presence of an extraordinarily valuable site, the construction may be prohibited entirely. CRM is a thriving entity, especially in the United States and Europe where archaeologists from private companies and all levels of government engage in the practice of their discipline.

Cultural resources management has doubtless mitigated the destruction of the archaeological record by the ever-sprawling works of Western civilisation, but it leaves something to be desired. CRM is conducted by private companies that bid for projects by submitting proposals outlining the work to be done and an expected budget. It is not unheard-of for the agency responsible for the construction to simply choose the proposal that asks for the least funding. CRM archaeologists face considerable time pressure, often being forced to complete their work in a fraction of the time that might be allotted for a purely scholarly endeavour.

Field methods


A modern archaeological project often begins with a survey. Regional survey is the attempt to systematically locate previously unknown sites in a region. Site survey is the attempt to systematically locate features of interest, such as houses and middens, within a site. Each of these two goals may be accomplished with largely the same methods.

Survey was not widely practiced in the early days of archaeology. Cultural historians and prior researchers were usually content with discovering the locations of monumental sites from the local populace, and excavating only the plainly visible features there. Gordon Willey pioneered the technique of regional settlement pattern survey in 1949 in the Viru Valley of coastal Peru, and survey of all levels became prominent with the rise of processual archaeology some years later.

Survey work has many benefits if performed as a preliminary exercise to, or even in place of, excavation. It requires relatively little time and expense, because it does not require processing large volumes of soil to search out artefacts. (Nevertheless, surveying a large region or site can be expensive, so archaeologists often employ sampling methods.) It avoids ethical issues (of particular concern to descendant peoples) associated with destroying a site through excavation. It is the only way to gather some forms of information, such as settlement patterns and settlement structure. Survey data are commonly assembled into maps, which may show surface features and/or artefact distribution.

The simplest survey technique is surface survey. It involves combing an area, usually on foot but sometimes with the use of mechanised transport, to search for features or artefacts visible on the surface. Surface survey cannot detect sites or features that are completely buried under earth, or overgrown with vegetation. Surface survey may also include mini-excavation techniques such as augers, corers, and shovel test pits.

Aerial survey is conducted using cameras attached to aircraft, balloons or even kites. A bird's-eye view is useful for quick mapping of large or complex sites. Aerial imaging can also detect many things not visible from the surface. Plants growing above a stone structure, such as a wall, will develop more slowly, while those above other types of features (such as middens) may develop more rapidly. Photographs of ripening grain, which changes colour rapidly at maturation, have revealed buried structures with great precision. Aerial survey also employs infrared, ground-penetrating radar wavelengths, and thermography.

Geophysical survey is the most effective way to see beneath the ground. Magnetometers detect minute deviations in the Earth's magnetic field caused by iron artefacts, kilns, some types of stone structures, and even ditches and middens. Devices that measure the electrical resistivity of the soil are also widely used. Most soils are moist below the surface, which gives them a relatively low resistivity. Features such as hard-packed floors or concentrations of stone have a higher resistivity.

Although some archaeologists consider the use of metal detectors to be tantamount to treasure hunting, they are an effective tool in archaeological surveying. Examples of formal archaeological use of metal detectors include musketball distribution analysis on English Civil War battlefields, metal distribution analysis prior to excavation of a nineteenth century ship wreck, and service cable location during evaluation. Metal detectorists have also contributed to the archaeological record where they have made detailed records of their results and refrained from raising artifacts from their archaeological context. In the UK the value of responsible metal detectorists has been acknowledged by the solicitation of their involvement in the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Regional survey in maritime archaeology uses side-scan sonar.


Archaeological excavation existed when the field was still the domain of amateurs, and it remains the source of the majority of data recovered in most field projects. It can reveal several types of information usually not accessible to survey, such as stratigraphy, three-dimensional structure, and verifiably primary context.

Modern excavation techniques require that the precise locations of objects and features, known as their provenance or provenience, be recorded. This always involves determining their horizontal locations, and sometimes vertical position as well. Similarly their association, or relationship with nearby objects and features, needs to be recorded for later analysis. This allows the archaeologist to deduce what artefacts and features were likely used together and which may be from different phases of activity. For example, excavation of a site reveals its stratigraphy; if a site was occupied by a succession of distinct cultures, artefacts from more recent cultures will lie above those from more ancient cultures.

Excavation is the most expensive phase of archaeological research. Also, as a destructive process, it carries ethical concerns. As a result, very few sites are excavated in their entirety. Sampling is even more important in excavation than in survey. It is common for large mechanical equipment, such as backhoes (JCBs), to be used in excavation, especially to remove the topsoil (overburden), though this method is increasingly used with great caution. Following this it is usual to hand-clean the exposed area with trowels or hoes to ensure that all features are apparent.

The next task is to produce a site plan and then use it to help decide the method of excavation. Features dug into the natural subsoil are normally excavated in portions in order to produce a visible archaeological section for recording. Scaled plans and sections of individual features are all drawn on site, black and white and colour photographs of them are taken and recording sheets are filled in describing the context of each. All this information serves as a permanent record of the now-destroyed archaeology and is used in describing and interpreting the site.

Post-excavation analysis

Once artefacts and structures have been excavated, or collected from surface surveys, it is necessary to properly study them, to gain as much data as possible. This process is known as post-excavation analysis, and is normally the most time-consuming part of the archaeological investigation. It is not uncommon for the final excavation reports on major sites to take years to be published.

At its most basic, the artefacts found are cleaned, catalogued and compared to published collections, in order to classify them typologically and to identify other sites with similar artefact assemblages. However, a much more comprehensive range of analytical techniques are available through archaeological science, meaning that artefacts can be dated and their compositions examined. The bones, plants and pollen collected from a site can all be analysed (using the techniques of zooarchaeology, paleoethnobotany and palynology), while any texts can usually be deciphered.

These techniques frequently provide information that would not otherwise be known and therefore contribute greatly to the understanding of a site.

History of archaeology

Main article: History of archaeology

The history of archaeology has been one of increasing professionalisation, and the use of an increasing range of techniques, to obtain as much data on the site being examined as possible.

Excavations of ancient monuments and the collection of antiquities have been taking place for thousands of years, but these were mostly for the extraction of valuable or aesthetically pleasing artefacts.

It was only in the 19th century that the systematic study of the past through its physical remains began to be carried out. Archaeological methods were developed by both interested amateurs and professionals, including Augustus Pitt Rivers and William Flinders Petrie.

This process was continued in the 20th century by such people as Mortimer Wheeler, whose highly disciplined approach to excavation greatly improved the quality of evidence that could be obtained.

During the 20th century, the development of urban archaeology and then rescue archaeology have been important factors, as has the development of archaeological science, which has greatly increased the amount of data that it is possible to obtain.

Archaeological theory

Main article: Archaeological theory

There is no single theory of archaeology, and even definitions are disputed. Until the mid-20th century and the introduction of technology, there was a general consensus that archaeology was closely related to both history and anthropology. The first major phase in the history of archaeological theory is commonly referred to as cultural, or culture history, which was developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In the 1960s, a number of young, primarily American archaeologists, such as Lewis Binford, rebelled against the paradigms of cultural history. They proposed a "New Archaeology", which would be more "scientific" and "anthropological", with hypothesis testing and the scientific method very important parts of what became known as processual archaeology.

In the 1980s, a new movement arose led by the British archaeologists Michael Shanks, Christopher Tilley, Daniel Miller and Ian Hodder. It questioned processualism's appeals to science and impartiality and emphasised the importance of relativism, becoming known as post-processual archaeology. However, this approach has been criticised by processualists as lacking scientific rigour. The validity of both processualism and post-procuessualism is still under debate.

Archaeological theory now borrows from a wide range of influences, including neo-Darwinian evolutionary thought, phenomenology, postmodernism, agency theory, cognitive science, Functionalism, gender-based and Feminist archaeology and Systems theory.

Public archaeology

Early archaeology was largely an attempt to uncover spectacular artefacts and features, or to explore vast and mysterious abandoned cities. Such pursuits continue to fascinate the public, portrayed in books (such as King Solomon's Mines) and films (such as The Mummy and Raiders of the Lost Ark).

Much thorough and productive research has indeed been conducted in dramatic locales such as Copán and the Valley of the Kings, but the stuff of modern archaeology is not so reliably sensational. In addition, archaeological adventure stories tend to ignore the painstaking work involved in modern survey, excavation and data processing techniques. Some archaeologists refer to such portrayals as 'pseudoarchaeology'.

Nevertheless, archaeology has profited from its portrayal in the mainstream media. Many practitioners point to the childhood excitement of Indiana Jones films and Tomb Raider games as the inspiration for them to enter the field. Archaeologists are also very much reliant on public support, the question of exactly who they are doing their work for is often discussed. Without a strong public interest in the subject, often sparked by significant finds and celebrity archaeologists, it would be a great deal harder for archaeologists to gain the political and financial support they require.

In the UK, popular archaeology programmes such as Time Team and Meet the Ancestors have resulted in a huge upsurge in public interest. Where possible, archaeologists now make more provision for public involvement and outreach in larger projects than they once did. However, the move towards being more professional has meant that volunteer places are now relegated to unskilled labour, and even this is less freely available than before. Developer-funded excavation necessitates a well-trained staff that can work quickly and accurately, observing the necessary Health and Safety and indemnity insurance issues involved in working on a modern building site to tight deadlines. Certain charities and local government bodies sometimes offer places on research projects either as part of academic work or as a defined community project. There is also a flourishing industry selling places on commercial training excavations and archaeological holiday tours.

Archaeologists prize local knowledge and often liaise with local historical and archaeological societies. Anyone looking to get involved in the field without having to pay for the privilege should contact a local group.


Main article: Pseudoarchaeology.

Pseudoarchaeology is an umbrella term for all activities that claim to be archaeological but in fact violate commonly accepted archaeological practices. It includes much fictional archaeological work (discussed above), as well as some actual activity. Many non-fiction authors have ignored the scientific methods of processual archaeology, or the specific critiques of it contained in Post-processualism.

An example of this type is the author, Erich von Däniken. His Chariots of the Gods (1968), together with many subsequent, lesser-known works, expounds a theory of ancient contacts between human civilisation on Earth and more technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilisations. (This theory, known as palaeocontact theory, is not exclusively Däniken's nor did he originate the idea.) Works of this nature are usually marked by the renunciation of well-established theories on the basis of limited evidence, and the interpretation of evidence with a preconceived theory in mind.


Looting of archaeological sites by people in search of hoards of buried treasure is an ancient problem. For instance, many of the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs were looted in antiquity. The advent of archaeology has made ancient sites objects of great scientific and public interest, but it has also attracted unwelcome attention to the works of past peoples. A brisk commercial demand for artefacts encourages looting and the illicit antiquities trade which smuggles items abroad to private collectors. Looters not only damage the integrity of a historic site and rob local people of their heritage but by removing artefacts from their context, they also deny archaeologists valuable information that would be learnt from excavation.

The popular consciousness may associate looting with poor Third World countries. Many are former homes to many well-known ancient civilisations but lack the financial resources or political will to protect even the most significant sites. Certainly, the high prices that intact objects can command relative to a poor farmer's income make looting a tempting financial proposition for some local people. However, looting has taken its toll in places as rich and populous as the United States and Western Europe as well. Abandoned towns of the ancient Sinagua people of Arizona, clearly visible in the desert landscape, have been destroyed in large numbers by treasure hunters. Sites in more densely populated areas farther east have also been looted. Where looting is prescribed by law it takes place under cover of night, with the metal detector a common instrument used to identify profitable places to dig.

Public outreach

Motivated by a desire to halt looting, curb pseudoarchaeology, and to secure greater public funding and appreciation for their work, archaeologists are mounting public-outreach campaigns. They seek to stop looting by informing prospective artefact collectors of the provenance of these goods, and by alerting people who live near archaeological sites of the threat of looting and the danger that it poses to science and their own heritage. Common methods of public outreach include press releases and the encouragement of school field trips to sites under excavation.

The final audience for archaeologists' work is the public and it is increasingly realised that their work is ultimately being done to benefit and inform them. The social benefits of local heritage awareness are also being recognised with initiatives to increase civic and individual pride through projects such as community excavation projects and better interpretation and presentation of existing sites.

Descendant peoples

In the United States, Native Americans tend to mistrust archaeology. This mistrust is well-founded. For years, American archaeologists have been digging up Indian burial grounds and other places considered sacred, and carting away any artefacts and human remains to storage facilities for further study. Adding insult to injury, many skeletons were not even thoroughly studied. Furthermore, Western archaeologists' views of the past often differ from those of tribal peoples. The West views time as linear; for many natives, it is cyclic. From a Western perspective, the past is long-gone; from a native perspective, disturbing the past can have dire consequences in the present. To an archaeologist, the past is long-gone and must be reconstructed; to a native, it is yet alive.

As a consequence of this misunderstanding, American Indians have often attempted to prevent archaeological excavation of sites inhabited by their ancestors, while American archaeologists have paid them little heed. This situation is beginning to change. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA, 1990), limits the right of research institutions to possess human remains. Due in part to the spirit of postprocessualism, some archaeologists have begun to actively enlist the assistance of indigenous peoples likely to be descended from those under study.

Archaeologists have also been obliged to re-examine what constitutes an archaeological site in view of what native peoples believe to constitute sacred space. To many native peoples, natural features such as lakes, mountains or even individual trees have cultural significance. Australian archaeologists especially have explored this issue and attempted to survey these sites in order to give them some protection from being developed. Such work requires close links and trust between archaeologists and the people they are trying to help and at the same time study.

While this cooperation presents a new set of challenges and hurdles to fieldwork, it has benefits for all parties involved. Tribal elders cooperating with archaeologists can prevent the excavation of areas of sites that they consider sacred, while the archaeologists gain the elders' aid in interpreting their finds. There have also been active efforts to recruit aboriginal peoples directly into the archaeological profession.

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