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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Canada - Nova Scotia - Louisbourg Archaeology Program

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2010-08-16
End Date 2010-08-27

Multiple Sessions yes
Multiple Session information Session 1: August 16 - 20, 2010 Session 2: August 23 - 27, 2010
Archaeology Field School Location
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution
This program is presented by Parks Canada Agency and the Fortress of Louisbourg Association.
Academic Credit
Univeristy credits are not offered through this program
Archaeology Field School Tuition
650.00 CAN, tax included.
Archaeology Field School Room and Board
Not included.
Archaeology Field School Travel
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs
Daily transportation to/from site, lunches, training, supervision, and equipment included in program cost. There are various summer evening events at the fortress and the town of Louisbourg that may be of interest, participants may chose to make reservations for these evening events upon arrival.

Archaeology Field School Description

The Louisbourg Public Archaeology Program provides a unique opportunity for archaeology enthusiasts to join supervised digs at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada. The 2010 season will focus on field study at the De la Valliere property which was occupied by French, British and New Englanders between 1720 and 1758. The program will consist of two 5-day field sessions in early-mid August. During each session, a crew of 10-12 participants will excavate a portion of the De la Valliere property, learn about archaeological field and lab techniques, and attend presentations addressing current historical research at the Fortress. Although the crew will spend much of their time with trowels in hand, there will be ample opportunity for experiencing the sites and sounds of Fortress Louisbourg and exploring the rugged Cape Breton coastline. Originally, Louisbourg was a large French settlement founded in 1713, fortified in the 1730s, besieged twice by New Englanders and the British, and finally demolished and abandoned by the British in the 1760s. Relatively untouched since the fall of the Fortress, the remnants of the colonial settlement have survived the centuries in a remarkable state of preservation. Extensive archaeological excavations and historical research in the mid-twentieth century guided partial reconstruction of the fortified town and defensive walls. Approximately 25 percent of the Fortress has been brought to life and stands as the largest reconstruction project in North America. Three decades of archaeological and archival research has produced a staggering amount of information about eighteenth century colonial life at Louisbourg, but there’s much more to discover! The Louisbourg Public Archaeology Program is a great opportunity to unearth the past.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type
Historical archaeology: excavation project at an 18th century French fortress site.
Time Period
18th century (1713-1768)
Field School Setting/Conditions
The Fortress of Louisbourg is located just beyond the town of Louisbourg on the south side of Louisbourg harbour, opening to the Atlantic Ocean. The nearest city, Sydney, is a 30 minute drive to the north. The airport is located in Sydney. There is a taxi service between Sydney and Louisbourg. The nearest international airport is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia (5 hour drive between Halifax and Sydney), and there are daily flights between Halifax and Sydney. There are numerous accommodation options in the town of Louisbourg. The nearest accommodations to the Fortress of Louisbourg visitor centre are but a 10-15 minute walk away. Otherwise, you will need to drive to the visitor centre, where there is ample parking.
How is the project area accessed each day
The site is accessed by a shuttle bus between the Fortress of Louisbourg visitor centre and the reconstructed fortress site. Buses runs every half hour during the day, 9am - 5pm, 7-days a week during the summer months.
What is the daily schedule for the field school
The week-long sessions run Monday to Friday, but participants are welcome to come to Louisbourg on the Sunday before the program starts to enjoy a day visiting the fortress.
Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
five years
Is there a professional certification for this field school
Directors and Instructors
Rebecca Duggan and Dr. Bruce Fry, Parks Canada Archaeologists at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn
Historical archaeology field techniques (excavation, screening, photograpy, survey, note-taking)and artifact processing Daily information sessions on subjects such as historical archaeology, archaeology collections management and conservation, cutural resource management, and Louisbourg history (town site history, siege warfare, fortifications, 18th century costume). Hands-on introduction to 18th century gardening, cooking, smithing, and weaponry
On rain days will there be lab work?
yes, and additional presentations will be offered on rain days, else participants may take the opportunity to tour the site.
Will there be additional organized activities?
There are a variety of summer evening events at the fortress and in the town of Louisbourg, such as dining, music, and theatre programs. Some of these programs may be found at the Fortress Louisbourg Association Web site. Other program offerings will be announced in early summer.
Will there be additional organized activities?
Is travel restriced during free time?
Evenings are free, the program runs 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Other resources students will find useful
The Louisbourg Institute Web site This site is full of information about the Fortress of Louisbourg. It is currently under construction (streamlining) but the pages are still accessible. The Parks Canada Fortress of Louisbourg Web site:

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Louisbourg Archaeology Program 2010 Fortress Louisbourg Association 265 Park Service Road Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, Canada B1C 2L2

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