Archaeological Field School 2011

Archaeological Field School
Paleo-Indian Excavations
Lakehead University, Dept of Anthropology
Thunder Bay, Ontario
May 2, to June 13, 2011
Archaeological field schools teach methodology through participation in an actual excavation project. Over two 3 week sessions, students will gain basic competence in site reconnaissance and testing methods consistent with Cultural Resource Management archaeology practiced in Canada. The course requires daily participation over approximately 8 hour, five days a week. While inclement weather might affect the training plan, students should be prepared to work in a forest environment in either hot and sunny or cool and wet weather. The training venue is part of a larger archaeological salvage project near Thunder Bay, and students must conform to safety protocols that form part of the initial site orientation. While the site is readily accessible, students must be physically able to work in 'bush' conditions. While consisting of two half courses, students normally will complete both, thereby earning 1 full course equivalent.

Anth 3815 Archaeological Field School I
Course Weight .5 FCE
Prerequisite(s): 1 FCE Anthropology or permission of instructor

Training in archaeological field methods through participation in an excavation project. Includes classroom instruction in archaeological methods, tours of archaeological sites near Thunder Bay, and practical experience in archaeological reconnaissance and standard excavation methods. This intensive field course occurs in a 3 week session. 

Anth 3817 Archaeological Field School II

Course Weight .5 FCE
Prerequisite: successful completion of Anth 3815 Archaeological Field School 1 <div" align="left">
More intensive training and practical experience in archaeological reconnaissance and excavation methods that addresses site mapping, field data recording, excavation, and artifact identification. This  intensive field course will occur in a sequential 3 week session to Archaeological Field School 1. 

Site Background

In collaboration with Western Heritage (, the Lakehead U. archaeological field school will occur in the Mackenzie Site locality, near Thunder Bay, Ontario, which contains several Lakehead Composite Sites (ca. 8,500 to 9,500 year old). These sites are being excavated in anticipation of highway construction. Since the field school will operate within a construction corridor, and students must conform to the safety regulations for the larger project.
Field archaeological reconnaissance and assessment skills will be supplemented with in-class training and site tours that will introduce early post-glacial landscapes, and also late Paleo-Indian technology, land use and economy. Lakehead Composite sites represent the earliest human occupation of the region shortly after deglaciation. The best known of such sites (including the Mackenzie Site) are located upon ancient beach features of Glacial Lake Minong. However this does not exclusively define the site settlement pattern, and part of course curriculum will focus upon paleo-geographic and hydrological modelling necessary to interpret the broader settlement pattern.
This field school will provide direct exposure to Cultural Resource Management archaeology, and students will observe the work of the larger Western Heritage excavation team. This will allow development of practical skills required in such applied research, and there is some possibility for paid employment with that company over the balance of the summer.
News about the Site:

Student fees at Lakehead vary depending upon program and the student's year of study. (see for 2010-11 fee structure). These fees are also currently being adjusted upwards slightly and will soon be reflected in the link cited above.

The fees listed below for each half course are approximate.

Cost per half course

Tuition                                  $527.80

Ancillary Fee                        $48.19

Field transportation fee          $32.00

Lab/field supplies                   $15.00


Total                                      $622.99

Field School students will be levied a one-time $50 refundable deposit in light of the equipment loaned them. This fee will be used to replace lost or broken equipment. If all equipment is returned in good order, the $50 will be returned. Normal 'wear and tear' will not result in the loss of the deposit.
Lakehead University is a predominately undergraduate institution located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Located on the TransCanada Highway, it is also serviced with an international airport featuring several daily flights from several major Canadian Carriers. The field school is located about 25 minutes drive east of Thunder Bay. Accommodations are available through Lakehead University Residence Services (, but would require daily private transportation or 'car pooling' to reach the site. Plans for alternative accommodations for field school students nearer the site are currently being developed. Interested students are encouraged to check regularly at this web address (, or contact Dr. Scott Hamilton ( or at 807-343-8742.
Other Field Schools

Archaeological Field School

The field school experience will be indispensible in applying for field work in research or consulting archaeological projects. Also, most graduate programs in archaeology require field school experience. Some schools worth considering for such a course include: 
Brandon University -TBA
University of Northern British Columbia
Memorial University
St. Mary's University
University of Western Ontario
Toronto and Region Conservation and The Royal Ontario Museum
June 12 - July 23, 2011

This is the sixth season of excavations of the Roman Baths at the ancient city of Carsulae. The Roman city, founded along the via Flaminia in the late third century BCE, is located near the town of San Gemini. The area has been associated with healing waters since pre-Roman times. Field school includes:  archaeological excavation, various methods of excavation documentation and handling and processing of artifacts.

Contact: Jane Whitehead, excavation director and professor at Valdosta State University,
 May 23 - June 18, 2011

The course aims to give basic knowledge and hands on experience in the field archaeological ceramics conservation. Through classroom and workshop sessions the participants will be introduced to the following skills: categorizing, organizing and storage of sherds; materials and morphological analysis of diagnostic pottery; graphic and digital documentation of diagnostic pottery; cleaning, reassembly and integration of lacunae of pottery. Some of the work in the workshop will be done using recently excavated materials from the Baths of the ancient Roman town of Carsulae.

Contact: Max Cardillo, San Gemini Preservation Studies,
Syllabi: programs/list-of-programs/s1-3  and programs/list-of-programs/s1-4
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