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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Africa - Uganda- Ntusi Field School - 2015

Africa - Uganda- Ntusi Field School - 2015

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2015-06-27
End Date 2015-08-01

Archaeology Field School Location
Uganda - Ntusi

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution
Institute for Field Research, University College London
Academic Credit
Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through our academic partner, Connecticut College. Connecticut College is a private, highly ranked liberal arts institution. Students will receive a letter grade for attending this field school (see grading assessment and matrix, below). This field school provides a minimum of 192 direct instructional hours.
Archaeology Field School Tuition
$4,700; includes tuition, cost of credit units, and room & board.

Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs
Fee includes registration, accommodations, program activities, meals on workdays, and health insurance. Airfare, weekend meals and optional excursions are additional.

Archaeology Field School Description

Ntusi is a site covering an area of more than 100 hectares, situated in the grasslands of south western Uganda, little more than 100 miles from the capital Kampala and only three miles north of the equator. 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. At Ntusi there is abundant evidence, through its excellent preservation of animal bone, for the development of pastoralism, cattle-keeping having been the cornerstone of many of the later kingdoms of the region. Ntusi reveals the early stages of the political and social process through which the modern Ankole cattle breed was produced. At the same time, there is evidence for extensive grain agriculture practices, crucially being undertaken within the same cattle-keeping households. Evidence for these households has been encountered through previous area excavation at select parts of the site. Ntusi also contains important evidence of monumental earthworks in the form of two large mounds at the center of the site, perhaps representing feasting locations Current understanding of Ntusi is based on excavation of a tiny proportion of the overall site. Thus far, results allowed the generation of a model of economic integration at the homestead level and of a dispersed and frequently shifting habitation. These models clearly need to be tested. The 2015 field school is a new project which will seek to test the current interpretations by conducting excavation in new areas, applying new analytical techniques and exploring Ntusi’s relationship with its immediate hinterland. Consequently, the first season will seek to establish the long-term project infrastructure, developing operating systems and appropriate methods of practice. 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 also visit various local natural and cultural locations – such as papyrus swamps and cattle enclosures – to consider their significance in understanding the past. Towards the end of the session, a visit will be paid to Lake Mburo National Park to consider the resources available to past human populations and the impact humans have had on the African landscape.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Time Period
First half of the second millennium CE
Field School Setting/Conditions
Archaeological field work involves physical work in the outdoors. You should be aware that conditions in the field are different than those you experience in your home, dorms or college town. Ntusi is only three miles from the equator, but it is 4,000 feet above sea level. During the day temperatures in the shade may reach 85oF (humidity will be low), but will drop to about 50oF on our hilltop during the night. Facilities are comfortable but rudimentary. To enter Uganda you must have a valid Yellow Fever certificate. Please make sure you bring this certification with you and be prepared to present it to the immigration officer at your entry point to Uganda. The incidence of malaria at Ntusi is extremely low, but it is a risk in places like Kampala. You should consider bringing anti-malarial drugs with you and insect repellent is also useful. Drinking water in the form of bottled mineral water is widely available. You should not use any other water for drinking or brushing your teeth. For any medical concerns, please consult with your doctor. For all other concerns, please contact the project director – as appropriate.

Directors and Instructors
Dr. Andrew Reid, University College London (
Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn
The course has several basic goals: 1) to introduce students to basic archaeological research methods of excavation and survey; 2) to familiarize students with a range of archaeological materials including ceramics, animal bone and metallurgical waste and how to catalogue and record these remains; and 3) to provide an introduction to African research environments by looking at a range of natural features as well as considering the relationship between archaeological heritage and contemporary populations. The primary directive of the course is to enable students to better understand how archaeology is practiced in the field. The course will include the following activities: Excavations: Students will participate in guided area excavations at Ntusi. Recordation: Students will participate in filling out specific excavation forms, mapping finds, and recording stratigraphy. Cataloging: Students will participate in field sorting and cataloging of finds. Laboratory: Scheduled lab tasks will include washing, sorting, and cataloging of finds. Introductions will be given to the various analytical procedures these finds will be subjected to. Survey: Students will be shown the survey strategy used to identify sites in the Mawogola area surrounding Ntusi and each student will get the chance to direct a transect team (under close supervision).

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Ran Boytner

Field School Contact E-mail:
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