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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

North America - Oregon - Fort Yamhill Historical Archaeology Field School - 2016

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2016-06-28
End Date 2016-08-05

Archaeology Field School Location

Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area, Grand Ronde, OR 97347

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

Oregon State University

Academic Credit


Archaeology Field School Tuition

$2,700 (12 credits in state tution)

Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

Materials that will be required are:
One 4-inch Marshalltown Trowel
Closed-toed shoes
Sturdy gloves for screening materials

Archaeology Field School Description

Archaeological Excavations at Civil War-Era U.S. Army Military Hospital:
Fort Yamhill Historical Archaeology Field School:
June 28 – August 5, 2016

The 2016 Oregon State University Department of Anthropology Historical Archaeology Field School will be held at the 1856 to 1866 Site of Fort Yamhill located near Grand Ronde, Oregon. The site is located approximately 1 hour north of Corvallis, Oregon in the Coast Range Mountains. The field school will begin June 28th and end August 5th. A van will be providing daily round trip transportation to the site from Corvallis.

Participants will learn state of the art archaeological field techniques ranging from site survey strategies to investigative excavation techniques. Training in archaeological laboratory techniques and historical materials identification will also be available. You do not have to be an Anthropology major or have any prior archaeological experience to participate on the field school.

Participants will register for ANTH 438 for 12 credit hours for undergraduates and ANTH 538 for 9 credit hours for graduate students. If you have questions about the field school or are interested in registering, contact Dr. David Brauner at or call 541-737-3855. Applicants will receive more specific information about the summer agenda. Deadline for applications is June 15, 2016.

A Brief History of Fort Yamhill

Fort Yamhill was established in August 1856 as one of three forts designed to protect and monitor the newly established coastal Native American reservation. In addition to Fort Yamhill, the other forts, Fort Hoskins (twenty minutes west of Corvallis) and Fort Umpqua (built near the mouth of the Umpqua river), guarded the eastern and southern boundaries of the reservation. The men stationed at these forts were charged with keeping unauthorized people out of the reservation and ensuring that the Native Americans stayed within the confines of the reservation boundaries. From August 1856 to October 1861, the fort was manned by the U.S. Army. When the Civil War began, these men were sent back east and were replaced by volunteer regiments from California and Oregon, which occupied the fort until its abandonment in June 1866.

Fort Yamhill was the largest of the three forts, having a garrison strength of up to 124 enlisted men at its peak. The fort consisted of numerous buildings, including six officer’s quarters, company quarters, a hospital, stables, a blacksmith’s shop, and the sutler’s store, among others. This summer we will be investigating the hospital at Fort Yamhill, working to locate it and map its layout, in addition to gaining preliminary knowledge of its construction and military medical practices at the fort. The hospital was continuously manned by a physician and a steward. Throughout the operation of the fort, the hospital saw the service of ten different physicians and one steward. These men worked to maintain the health and function of the men stationed at the fort and offered treatment to nearby Native American populations. In addition to locating the hospital, excavations this summer will work to gain a preliminary look into the artifact assemblage associated with the hospital site, which will help to increase our knowledge of medical practices and procedures. Currently, there is little known about military medical practices of this era in the Pacific Northwest, meaning that these excavations and the resulting analysis will be some of the first of their kind.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type


Time Period


Field School Setting/Conditions

On a forested hill, overlooking a grassy field. Poison oak is present.

How is the project area accessed each day

Vehicle transportation provided to and from the site daily, leaving from Corvallis.

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
~40 years
Is there a professional certification for this field school


Directors and Instructors

Dr. David Brauner

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

Excavation techniques
Materials identification
Lab techniques
Soil descriptions
Unti documention

On rain days will there be lab work?


Will there be additional organized activities?

There will be an end of field school celebration.

Will there be additional organized activities?


Is travel restriced during free time?

Only if camping at site.

Other resources students will find useful

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Dr. David Brauner
238 Waldo Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331

Field School Contact E-mail:
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Field School Contact Website:

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