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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Pacific - Hawai‘i - Miloli'i Beach Archaeological Field School - 2016

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2016-07-05
End Date 2016-08-05

Multiple Sessions No

Archaeology Field School Location

N? Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kaua‘i Island, Hawai‘i

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

College of William & Mary

Archaeology Field School Tuition

Field school costs will be $2,100 for in-state students (Virginia ), and $6,480 for out-of-state students.

Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

These costs do not include travel to and from Kaua‘i Island. Students will also be required to purchase travel health insurance that provides emergency evacuation coverage, at estimated cost of approximately $50.

Archaeology Field School Description

The project is directed at understanding the 1,000-year settlement history of Miloli‘i beach flat and valley, located along the remote N? Pali Coast on Kaua‘i Island. The locale is quite scenic and we will be sharing Miloli‘i beach with sea turtles and monk seals who frequent these shores. This course introduces students to contemporary archaeological fieldwork through participation in research on pre-contact and post-contact Hawaiian residential and agricultural sites. The class will consist primarily of archaeological fieldwork and field laboratory analysis. To place this research in a broader context, the class includes lectures and discussions on Hawaiian archaeology, ethnohistory, material culture, and heritage management by island specialists, State Parks archaeologists, and Hawaiian practitioners as well as Prof. Kahn and her graduate student teaching assistants. During the field inter-sessions we will have fieldtrips to cultural and historical sites around the island. This course is carried out in collaboration with archaeologists at the State Parks (Hawaiian Division) and with the Na Pali Coast Ohana who will be in residence during the two periods when we will be working in our remote field location. The Na Pali Coast Ohana includes Hawaiian residents from Kaua?i who work to care and manage the Na Pali Coast’s exceptional cultural resources. Students will be exposed to Hawaiian ways of caring for cultural resources and will learn how to incorporate carry out archaeological research in a culturally respectful manner, including the use of appropriate protocols and collaboration with descendant communities in all stages of the research. Students will rotate through three areas: Area A: excavations on the beach flat to recover midden and sub-surface architecture; Area B: excavations at 19th century Hawaiian house sites; Area C: survey, GIS documentation, and test excavations of agricultural sites, including wet land terraces for taro cultivation.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type

Prehistoric, historic, Polynesia, Hawai‘i, household archaeology

Time Period

Excavations will address occupations dating to soon after the settlement of the area, ca. A.D. 1300, through the early 19th century.

Field School Setting/Conditions

This project will take place in a remote wilderness area. Students will work outdoors most of the day, sometimes in areas of dense vegetation. You should expect to perform physical work, including heavy lifting, for extended periods during the day, and to get extremely dirty! Daytime temperatures will range between 70 and 80 degrees, while nighttime temperatures are expected to be in the 50s. Although the daytime temperatures are not high, in these latitudes, UV radiation is concentrated. You should plan to provide yourself with adequate clothing for sun protection, as ample sunscreen and a hat, as well as insect repellent. You will also need suitable clothing for intermittent rainy weather. The wilderness park will be accessed by small boat. Because landing conditions are uncertain, you will need to pack all of your belongings into waterproof containers. Because it is possible that we will need to swim or wade a short distance to shore, you are REQUIRED to provide proof of swimming competence. Accommodations will be picturesque, but rudimentary. All personnel will camp on the beach near the work site. There is no electricity or cell phone coverage, except for emergency situations. You will be expected to provide your own camping equipment, including a tent, bedding, as well as a mess kit (cup, fork, plate) and a headlamp or flashlight. Although the camping facility is equipped with an outdoor shower, warm water is VERY limited. Be prepared to take short showers in cold water. There is potable water but we will have to hike to a spring c. 20 minutes each way and carry water back to the campsite. We will pack in all food and supplies needed for each field session. Although meals will be organized, you are responsible for bringing additional snacks, supplements, etc. Please be aware that, once in the project area, there will be no outside access to purchase equipment, medicine, or other personal articles. Due to the remote nature of the field setting, it is ESSENTIAL that you inform the project supervisor in advance if you have any known health conditions or concerns.

How is the project area accessed each day

Project sites will be located within walking distance of the campsite. Hiking in rough terrain may be necessary to access project sites and the spring where we will collect drinking water.

What is the daily schedule for the field school

6:30-7:15 breakfast; 7:30 to field site; 11:30-1:30 lunch and time in the shade; 1:30-4:30 work at the field site; 6:00 dinner. In the inter-sessions between field stays we will be completing community service projects, visiting archaeological and environmental sites, and completing laboratory analysis as well as having some time off. Days on which students are not in the field will also include lectures to discuss readings and to learn techniques for identifying artifacts.

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Although Dr. Kahn has been excavating at Miloli‘i since 2008, this is the first year that students are invited to attend as part of a formal field school. She has taught a field school in French Polynesia in the past (Tahiti).

Directors and Instructors

Dr. Jennifer Kahn, Director

Summer Moore, Teaching Assistant
Nick Belluzzo, Teaching Assistant

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

Controlled excavation techniques, site and unit mapping, specialized sample collection, GIS documentation, archaeological mapping and survey

On rain days will there be lab work?


Will there be additional organized activities?

During the break between sessions, students will assist with service community projects, will visit archaeological and environmental sites, and will complete laboratory analysis. The out of field days will also include lectures to discuss readings and to learn techniques for identifying artifacts.

Is travel restriced during free time?

Because the field phase of the field school will take place in a remote wilderness area, students will be required to travel in pairs when leaving the camp or work site. During the phase of the field school held in Lihue, there will be no restrictions during free time.

Other resources students will find useful

Dr. Jennifer Kahn:

N? Pali Coast Wilderness State Park:

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Contact Information

Dr. Jennifer Kahn, Field School Director
College of William and Mary
Department of Anthropology

Field School Contact E-mail:
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