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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

North America - California - Applied Archaeology Field School-San Bernardino National Forest - 2016

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2016-07-16
End Date 2016-08-19

Multiple Sessions No

Archaeology Field School Location
54250 Keen Camp Rd. Mountain Center, CA 92561

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution
N/A. This course does not offer units. It is run by US Forest Service archaeologists, both active and retired.
Academic Credit
Archaeology Field School Tuition
Archaeology Field School Room and Board
Included in tuition. Meals are provided from Sunday dinner through Friday lunch. During the first weekend, meals will be provided Saturday night and three meals on Sunday.
Archaeology Field School Travel
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs
Students will need a tent, sleeping bag, day pack, water bottles, and a dig kit.

Archaeology Field School Description

This is the tenth year that the San Bernardino National Forest is sponsoring a five-week applied archaeology field school. The field school started as an effort to train upper division and graduate students in the basic field methods of archaeology. You will learn the skills necessary to qualify for entry level positions as archaeological technicians. The course is taught by current and former US Forest Service archaeologists. You will learn essential, fundamental skills associated with pedestrian survey, site recording, and excavation which you will need to qualify for your first entry level job as an archaeological technician. You will learn about the laws and processes that apply to archaeology and cultural resource management in the public and private sectors. The skills you will learn are equally applicable to research archaeology anywhere in the world. During the past three years we have focused on recruiting Native American students and monitors with the goal of getting archaeologists and Native Americans to work better together by overcoming long held stereotypes and biases while breaking down cultural barriers. Over the past three years, members from seven different reservations took the class. However, this is more than just a class. This is a research project and you are an important member of the research team. The work you do during this class will add considerably to our understanding of prehistoric land use by the Cahuilla Indians and contribute to the understanding of their settlement patterns in the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains. It will also help us to understand patterns of land use by early settlers. The course is being held in the San Jacinto Mountains of southern California near Idyllwild. A week of classroom activities will be followed by four weeks of survey and excavation. At a minimum students should be prepared to hike five miles a day over broken terrain in temperatures that may exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The summer 2016 class is organized around several different activities. First, students will be divided into crews in order to accomplish tasks that will be assigned during the course of the field school. The first week will be spent learning how to read a topographical map, how to use a compass, how to identify lithic, ceramic, and historical artifacts, how to excavate, how to conduct pedestrian surveys and identify archaeological sites, how to create site maps, and how to record sites on standard Department of Parks and Recreation forms. Morning lectures will be followed by afternoon field exercises. Then, during the next four weeks, students will conduct pedestrian surveys in the mountains and valleys of the San Jacinto Mountains and conduct limited excavation at archaeological sites in order to determine National Register eligibility. Each week a different team will excavate, while the other teams will conduct survey. A minimum of one instructor will be working at all times with each crew. Each crew will be responsible for completing site records for each of the sites they locate during survey. Work will begin at 7:00 AM, Monday through Friday. A mid-day lunch break will be followed by a work period in the afternoon. Based on the weather, we will adjust the daily work schedule between field and paper work as needed. During most evenings there will be an after dinner presentation and discussion. Each presentation will focus on a specific facet of archaeology, Cahuilla ethnography, and cultural resource management. Sometimes these discussions will be led by your instructors and sometimes they will be led by outside experts. Students need to supply their own tent, sleeping bag, and dig kit (a list of required equipment will be provided). Tuition covers the cost of the campground and meals for five days (Sunday dinner through Friday lunch) a week for five weeks. Students will also have to bring a "Sun Shower" as no hot water is available in the campground. A camp chef will professionally prepare meals. All students will help in running the camp: assigned activities will include assisting the chef with food preparation, dinner cleanup, and facilities maintenance. The field school is equipped with two large tents. One serves as the kitchen, the other serves as a lecture hall, dining tent, and work area. Field school is also equipped with a generator that provides power for computers and is used on an “as-need” basis.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type
Survey and excavation
Time Period
4000 BC to Historic.
Field School Setting/Conditions
The field school camp site is located in the San Jacinto Mountains at an elevation of 4720'. Evenings will be cool to cold and days will be warm to hot.
How is the project area accessed each day
Access in by state highway and paved roads.

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Is there a professional certification for this field school
Waiting for RPA certification. The course was certified in the past and there is no reason to believe that it will not be certified this year.
Directors and Instructors
Bill Sapp, PhD, co-director and instructor. Dr. Sapp has been the Forest Archaeologist for the San Bernardino National Forest for the past 12 years and co-principal investigator for the field school throughout its existence. Daniel McCarthy, MS, co-director and instructor. Mr. McCarthy is a formerly served as an archaeologist and Tribal Relations Program Manger for the San Bernardino National Forest. He is currently the Director of Cultural Resources for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Allison Hill, BA, instructor and crew chief. Ms. Hill is a graduate student at California State University Northridge where she is completing her master's degree. This is her third season working and teaching at the field school. Cadie McCarthy, BA, cook. Ms. McCarthy is a professional cook who has been spending her summers working at archaeological field schools for the past 15 years. Her meals are delicious and well-balanced
Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn
Students will learn how: to use a compass and topographical map; to fill out standard Department of Parks and Recreation site record forms; to identify prehistoric and historic artifacts; to conduct pedestrian surveys; to draw sketch maps of archaeological sites; to conduct systematic excavations including record keeping.
On rain days will there be lab work?
Will there be additional organized activities?
There will be several weekend field trips to significant archaeological sites in the Colorado and Mojave Deserts.
Will there be additional organized activities?
There will be lecture four nights a week. Approximately six will be presentation by outside experts and local tribal members
Is travel restriced during free time?

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Contact Information

Dr. Bill Sapp, Forest Archaeologist San Bernardino National Forest 602 S. Tippecanoe Ave. San Bernardino, CA 92408

Field School Contact E-mail:
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