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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Africa - Egypt - Giza Plateau Mapping Project (GPMP), Egypt Archaeological Field Training - 2016


Archaeological field training at the Giza Pyramids in Egypt. This intensive five-week field-study program, takes place at the Old Kingdom settlement site of Heit el-Ghurab, as part of Ancient Egypt Research Associates' multi-disciplinary archaeological project. The program provides five academic credits awarded by the American University in Cairo.

Africa - Ethiopia - Shire Field School - 2016


Located in the Shire region of Northern Ethiopia, this field school will allow students the opportunity to excavate a site which is virtually unexplored. The site, the region, and its complex cultural heritage, provide important information on the sub-Saharan counterpart of the Greco-Roman world. This societies economic base of agriculture and trade resulted in close contact with the North, and an adoption of early Christianity. The Shire Archeological Project concession comprises of extensive ancient remains dating from the prehistoric to the medieval period. It includes two large sites, Mai Adrasha and Mezaber Adi Menaber. During the 2016 season, students will work in Mai Adrasha, a site under thereat of destruction due to continuing panning of natural gold by the local population.

Africa - Kenya - Turkana Basin Institute Origins Field School - 2016


The Turkana Basin Institute is proud to offer, through Stony Brook University, unique full-semester and summer field school programs in the world-famous Turkana Basin of northern Kenya. The programs address the place that humans occupy in the natural world and how we came to occupy that place. Participants gain hands-on experience in field survey and excavation methods, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, taphonomy and more, and will take field trips to important paleontological and archaeological sites, diverse ecological settings, and remarkable geological features throughout the Turkana Basin.

Africa - Lesotho - Sehonghong Field School - 2015


Sehonghong is a rockshelter, used for tens of thousands of years in diverse ways, in the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains of Lesotho, southern Africa. Students will join current work at Sehonghong, part of a larger comparative project entitled, Adaptations to Marginal Environments in the Middle Stone Age (AMEMSA). This project aims to understand how some of the world’s earliest fully modern human societies adapted to challenging African environments. The goal of the 2015 field season is to continue excavating Sehonghong, and to conduct archaeological and geomorphological surveys in the surrounding area. This field school will run from May 7th to June 10th.

Africa - Senegal - Bandafassi Field School 2016


The goal of the Bandafassi Historical Landscape Project (BHLP) is to study such processes and identify the temporal and cultural changes the region experienced and that are shaping it today. The BHLP 2016 field school will undertake an archaeological, anthropological, and historical study of this landscape, with particular focus on the village site of Ethiowar Ancien occupied during the 18-19th centuries CE.

Africa - Somaliland - Forensic Anthropology and Human Rights Field School in the Horn of Africa - 2015


In this 4-weeks Field School, the participants will assist in training the staff of the War Crimes Investigation Commission (WCIC) of Somaliland in forensic investigation of human rights violations. At the completion of the course, the participants will have an understanding of the application of forensic sciences to the investigation of Human Rights violations, as well as the process involved in the examination, recovery and analysis of mass graves and their contents.

Africa - Somalilandia - Forensic Antropology: Uncovering Somaliland's Troubled Past - 2014


Somaliland was a part of the former Republic of Somalia. The regime of Mohammed Siad Barre carried out
massacres against the people of Somaliland. About 60,000 civilians were killed, thousands were victims of
enforced disappearance, and 500,000 individuals were displaced before the declaration of independence,
in 1991.
Now, a forensic field school in Hargeisa will help to determine the universe of missing people through a systematic
approach, ante mortem data collection and research of mass and clandestine graves.

Africa - Tanzania - Archaeology and Geology Field School at Olduvai Gorge - 2016


This program offers exciting six-week study abroad experience in Tanzania at the world’s most famous archaeological site. During this intensive field course students will learn fundamentals of geological processes and develop skills in fossil and archaeological exploration by receiving first-hand field experience including excavations, mapping stratigraphic sections and conduct archaeological experiments. Field instruction will take students to nearby Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti where their diverse savanna ecosystems provide important modern analogs for understanding the relationship between the Earth’s systems, cultural landscapes and hominin evolution in natural environments. Ngorongoro and Serengeti are world famous Safari destinations and students will experience this lifetime study safari.

Africa - Tanzania- Olduvai Field School - 2015

The transition from the earliest human culture, the Oldowan, to the more sophisticated Acheulean, is one of the most significant events in the evolution of human technology. Despite the importance of this technological transition, little is known about the biological and cultural evolutionary mechanisms underlying it. Traditionally, this major cultural shift has been linked with the emergence of Homo erectus, a species defined by its much larger brain and body size, while the transformation from Oldowan simple core-and-flake technology to Acheulean handaxes was viewed as a steady progression rather than a revolutionary change. However, these assumptions are not grounded in the current available evidence, but rooted in cultural-history paradigms that are only now being tested. The Olduvai Gorge Archaeology Field School will collect fresh data on the emergence of the Acheulean at Olduvai and contribute to ongoing research being conducted by an international multidisciplinary team of researchers, the Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP).

Africa - Uganda- Ntusi Field School - 2015

Ntusi is a site covering an area of more than 100 hectares, situated in the grasslands of south western Uganda. Occupied throughout the first half of the second millennium CE, Ntusi is the earliest archaeological site in the Great Lakes region of Africa demonstrating the development of centralized societies. The 2015 field school will seek to test current interpretations of the site by conducting excavation in new areas, applying new analytical techniques and exploring Ntusi’s relationship with its immediate hinterland. The main research focus will be on the northeast part of the site, which will establish the organization of space, the economic base and the date of occupation of the location. In addition to excavation, students will be involved in the recovery of palaeobotanical remains and the processing and recording of abundant assemblages of pottery and animal bone. A limited amount of field survey will be undertaken to identify sites for future investigation. Students will visit various local natural and cultural locations – such as papyrus swamps and cattle enclosures – to consider their significance in understanding the past.

Africa- South Africa - Spitzkloof B Field School- 2015

Spitzkloof is as series of three neighboring rockshelters in the Richtersveld region of Namaqualand, a coastal desert in the northwest corner of South Africa. Although desolate, transhumant pastoralists, the descendants of those still live here, thrived in this landscape for millennia. Our work at Spitzkloof is aimed at understanding how some of the world’s earliest fully modern human societies adapted to challenging African environments over the past 200,000 years, of the behavioral flexibility that so epitomizes our species – flexibility that enabled us to colonize the globe and in the process out-compete our less versatile archaic cousins, including the Neanderthals, Denisovans, and so-called ‘Hobbits’. The three Spitzkloof Rockshelters – designated A, B and C – form the ‘backbone’ of our research in Namaqualand. The goal of the 2015 field season is to continue excavating at Spitzkloof B and to conduct archaeological and geomorphological surveys in the surrounding area.

Central America - Costa Rica - Tree Field Studies (Tropical Research in Ecology and Ethology): Field School teaching ecology, conservation & behavior in the Tropics - 2014


Tree Field Studies (TREE: Tropical Research in Ecology and Ethology, LLC) is a small field school teaching a variety of course in the tropics.

Our principle locations are Costa Rica, Tanzania, and Panama. Our field locations in Central America are: Estacion Biologica El Zota, Cana Palma Reserve, Tortuguero, Bocas Del Toro, Panama. In Africa we teach at Udzungwa Ecological Monitoring Centre, Tanzania.

For the summer of 2014 we are offering the following courses: Primate Behavior & Ecology, Tropical Herpetology, Tropical Entomology, Tropical Ecology.

Our web address is

Europe - Crete, Greece- Gonies Field School - 2014

The Three Peak Sanctuaries of Central Crete project investigates Minoan peak sanctuaries in the rocky mountainous province of Malevyzi. This field school focuses on ethnographic research at the area – particularly at the village of Gonies. Our goal is to use local knowledge to inform and enrich the archaeological interpretation of the Peak Sanctuaries. We will focus primarily on toponyms, traditional oral histories and local mythologies, and folk memory of places and structures now long gone. For 2014, we will work collaboratively with municipal social workers and a team of students from the local polytechnic university to compile an ethnographic and census database of the village. Work will involve visiting households door-to-door, gathering information about family size, age, gender, ways of livelihood, skills and material culture. Data will be entered into a digital database, which will be a valuable tool for the community itself, the municipal social services and the archaeological team.

Middle East - Egypt- Conservation Field School - 2014


The vast Muslim cemeteries of Cairo – sometimes called the "City of the Dead" – are a unique urban environment that includes valuable medieval architectural monuments and living communities that practice traditional crafts. As part of the conservation and reconstruction efforts of the hawd mosque – erected by Sultan Qaitbey ca. 1,472 CE – students will participate in the documentation of physical and social aspects of a section of this quarter. Working side-by-side with Egyptian peers, students will learn about the architectural and urban history of a traditional Middle Eastern city, and about principles of architectural conservation and adaptive reuse. This field school is ideal for students seeking insights/career in urban planning, architecture, heritage conservation and archaeological preservation.

Middle East - Egypt- Fayum Field School- 2014


The Fayum field school takes place at the Greco-Roman town of Karanis, a large mud brick settlement founded in the third century BCE as part of the Ptolemaic expanse of agriculture in the Fayum region of Egypt. Karanis was abandoned during the early seventh century CE and the preservation of the ancient remains is excellent and a wide range of archaeological materials, including botanical macro-remains, textiles, wood and metal, are studied by a large group of archaeological specialists. This project focuses on both domestic and industrial areas of the site to better understand the importance of agriculture in relation to other economic activities. The 2014 field school will excavate at domestic contexts in order to augment our knowledge of the archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological record at the household level. The Fayum Field School combines teaching American students with training Egyptian archaeologists employed by the Ministry of State of Antiquities, which makes cultural exchange an integral part of the program. During the five weeks of the field school students get an intensive on-the-job training in archaeological research methods, excavation techniques, survey and finds processing. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with archaeological specialists and are encouraged to develop independent research projects. Excursions to important sites in the vicinity and ethnoarchaeological assignments are also part of this program.

Middle East - Israel - Central Timna Valley Project CTV - 2015


The third field season of the Tel Aviv University Central Timna Valley Project (CTV) is coming soon (February 2015) and we welcome students and volunteers to join us. The excavations focus on Late Bronze and Iron Age mining and smelting sites in Timna, one of the best preserved ancient copper mining districts world-wide. The season includes a field school that grants TAU academic credit.

Middle East - Israel - Saving the Stones - 2014

Middle East - Israel - Saving the Stones - 2014


Saving the Stones is a 16-22 week international practical training internship in the conservation of built cultural heritage and historic preservation for emerging professionals from interdisciplinary backgrounds. Through an immersive cultural heritage experience, you will have the opportunity to learn, work, and live in an historic city and embrace the many unique characteristics of Old Acre, and the ancient cites of the land of Israel. Saving the Stones will give you the foundation needed to begin a career in cultural heritage and conservation. The first 16 weeks provide the foundational conservation and historic preservation studies which include theoretical and practical documentation, and treatment planning through to field work and application. Afterwards, the optional 6 week practicum allows the student to apply the knowledge acquired by the foundation unit through apprenticeship, and thorough personal research is conducted. Submit your application by April 1st, 2014 to receive a $200.00 discount!

Middle East - Israel - Tel Beth Shemesh Field School - 2016


Tel Beth Shemesh was active during the Late Bronze and Iron Ages and was located at the geographic meeting point of three different ethnic and cultural groups, Philistines, Canaanites and Israelites. It is therefore an ideal site to investigate ancient geopolitical, social, and cultural dynamics at a border zone.This summer our excavation team will concentrate in the northern area of the site in order to explore cultural diversity, continuity, and changes from Level 4 (10th Century BCE) down to Level 9 (13th Century BCE). We began to reach the top of the Late Bronze Age destruction layer at the end of last season (2015) so this year will be especially exciting. Within and under this 13th Century BCE destruction layer we expect to find fired mudbricks, complete ceramic vessels, some of which will likely contain charred plant remains, and many artifacts still preserved in their primary context. We will be excavating in an area of the site where we discovered a very large palace from the el-Amarna Period (14th Century BCE), which may have been the seat of a (female!) monarch who ruled the walled Canaanite city and its environs.

Middle East - Israel - Tel Dor Archaeological Excavation and Field School - 2014


From July 1 to August 8, the University of Washington Tel Dor Archaeological Program will resume its field school excavation at Dor under the director of Professor Sarah Stroup.

The UW Team will continue excavating, under the instruction of prof. Stroup (assisted by Israeli grad students fluent in English), the impressive and archaeologically-rich Hellenistic and Persian period buildings on the south side of the Tel ('Area D4'). This area, which we have been excavating since 2005, consists of a fascinating complex of large public buildings likely connected with Dor's focus as a center of coastal Mediterranean trade and industry.

Middle East - Israel - The Tel Bet Yerah Archaeological Project, Israel - 2015

Middle East - Israel - The Tel Bet Yerah Archaeological Project, Israel - 2015

Tel Bet Yerah (Khirbet Kerak) is a large mound situated on the Sea of Galilee, at the outlet of the River Jordan in Israel. Occupied throughout the Early Bronze Age and sporadically in later times, Bet Yerah was a fortified city at the beginning of the third millennium B.C.E.. It had contact with the First Dynasty kings of Egypt and was later home to a unique ceramic tradition: Khirbet Kerak Ware, with roots in the South Caucasus. In 2015 we will delve down into the deepest levels of the mound, in order to gain a better understanding of the creation of local cultural traditions at the beginning of the Early Bronze Age (3500 – 3100 BCE). In a nearby excavation area we will extend the exposure of remains that we attribute to the migrant community (the ‘Khirbet Kerak people’), with the intention of improving our understanding of the strategies they used to maintain their separate identity in a strange land at about 2,800 BCE and finding more evidence that will point to their precise place of origin.

Middle East - Israel - Training Program in Practical Conservation - 2016


Saving The Stones is a practical training program designed to give the foundation needed to begin a career in conservation of built heritage and historic preservation.
Through hands-on experiences on various archaeological and historical heritage sites in Israel, participants have a unique opportunity to learn, work, and live and embrace the diversity of famous historical sites in the Land of Israel.

Middle East - Israel- Beth Shemesh Field School - 2014


Since the beginning of modern explorations of the ancient Near East, Tel Beth Shemesh attracted great interest. Its long sequence of occupational history has yielded significant data about local cultural histories, trade and the evolution of local agricultural practices. During the Late Bronze and Iron Ages, Tel Beth-Shemesh was located at the geographic meeting point of three different ethnic and cultural groups (Philistines, Canaanites and Israelites), making it an ideal site to investigate ancient geopolitical, social, and cultural dynamics at a border zone. The main objective of this field school is to expose students to the archaeological process, from excavation to analysis, and the importance of rigorous yet adaptable excavation and recording techniques. Through hands-on learning, students gain experience in excavating and field documentation. They will also be introduced to the intellectual challenges presented by archaeological research, including the need to adjust field strategies as discoveries are made and theories change. Furthermore, students receive training in laboratory analysis and have the opportunity to process and catalogue the cultural remains they find.

Middle East - Jordan - Petra Field School - 2015


This field school will allow students to join excavations in the ruins of ancient Petra in the Petra Garden and Pool Complex (PGPC). In antiquity, Petra was the hub of a vibrant trading network linking Arabia and the Mediterranean world, and the capital of the Nabataean kingdom that flourished from the 2nd century BCE through the 1st century CE. Recent excavations of the PGPC have revealed the remains of a monumental pool with island-pavilion, a complex water system of channels and pipelines, and pathways lain out across an expansive garden terrace. In 2015, students will focus on excavations of this unique system to gather evidence to pinpoint the date of its decline and for the pool’s water source. Students will also learn the methods of garden archaeology to analyze the garden.

Middle East - Jordan- Shubayqa Field School - 2014


The Shubayqa Archaeological Project investigates the transition from hunting & gathering to agriculture in the Harra desert of Jordan. In particular, this project investigates the relationship between the Younger Dryas – a global climatic event that led to cooler temperatures and decreased rainfall – and the beginning of agriculture. The project area is the remote, rugged Shubayqa basin, a 12 km2 playa situated c. 130 km northeast of the Jordanian capital Amman. In 2014 the project will continue its excavations at the late Natufian site of Shubayqa 1, while also launching excavations at the early Neolithic site Shubayqa 6 nearby. Furthermore, we will continue with our landscape survey of the surrounding area to discover additional sites, and carry out geoarchaeological sampling across the Shubayqa basin to study past environmental conditions. In addition, we will be processing and analyzing finds, and conducting some ethnographic fieldwork to better understand the use of the Badia by modern-day Bedouin pastoralists.

Middle East - Oman - Bat Field School - 2014


The UNESCO World Heritage site of Bat, al-Khutm, and al-Ayn in northern Oman was once a major Bronze Age center of ancient “Magan” from 3,000 to 2,000 BCE, with connections to Mesopotamia, Iran, and the Indus Civilization. Unfortunately, the people of Magan did not use writing or glyptic arts to record their history or organize their societies, so we know very little about their way of life. Since 2007, the Bat Archaeological Project (BAP) has been exploring the well preserved 3rd millennium BCE remains at this site, combining GIS-assisted surveys with stratigraphic excavations, radiocarbon dating, and other specialized methodologies – including geomorphology, archaeobotany and geophysical prospection – in order to better understand the social history of this region. During the 2014 season, we will explore a new area of domestic structures, looking at the transition from an early agricultural town of the Hafit Period (ca. 3,100-2,700 BCE) to a developed Umm an-Nar center of trade and production.

Middle East - Tunisia- Zita Field School - 2016


The site of Zita is an urban mound located in southern Tunisia and situated along an ancient trade route from Carthage to Tripoli. Identified by a Latin inscription as the Roman city of “Zita” (“Olive City” in Punic) it also contains a Carthaginian child sacrifice precinct (tophet). Our project is the first modern research expedition to be granted permission to work here. This is a lab based field school - this means that we will not be excavating. We will, however, be engaging in several technical and analytical projects that provide a rare opportunity for student participation. In addition to 1) analysis using portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (pXRF) of environmental soil and industrial artifacts and 2) the bioarchaeological recovery of sacrificial remains both described in the next paragraphs, students will engage in 3) ceramic drawing, and 4) experimental archaeology and ethnoarchaeology of traditional olive charcoal production, perhaps also traditional plaster production, and if there is a harvest, traditional olive collection and processing. The work will be conducted in the storage facilities of the Zarzis Museum, on site, and in the villa where we live.

Middle East - Turkey - Buncuklu Field School - 2016


The Boncuklu project is investigating the appearance of the first villages and farmers in central Turkey. At Boncuklu we are also exploring the origins of the remarkable symbolism seen in paintings and reliefs at the nearby famous Neolithic town of Çatalhöyük.

Middle East Egypt - Giza Archaeological Field Training - 2014


Archaeological field training at the Giza plateau, Egypt, offered by Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) and the American University in Cairo (AUC). The eight-week field training program takes place at the Heit el-Ghurab site, an Old Kingdom (2450 BC) pyramid builder’s settlement in Giza, as part of AERA’s muti-disciplinary archaeological project. The program provides eight academic credits awarded by AUC and will run from January 31 to March 26, 2015. The program includes six full-weeks excavation and one week’s work in the field laboratory. Site training covers excavation; site recording; survey; illustration and photography; and an introduction to bio-anthropology. In the lab and office: introduction to Archaeo-botany, Archaeo-zoology; Ceramics, Artefact, Lithics, Mud sealings, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems). The comprehensive package covers tuition, accommodation and on-site food, tool kit and supplies, medical insurance, local transportation, and special field trips to archaeological sites in Greater Cairo.

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