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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Canada - Alberta - Archaeological Field School, Department of Antrhopology, University of Alberta

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2010-05-17
End Date 2010-06-18

Multiple Sessions No

Archaeology Field School Location

The Field School will be conducted in the Lake Wabamun area west of metropolitan Edmonton. Field School vehicles will leave each day from the University of Alberta main campus.

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

University of Alberta

Academic Credit


Archaeology Field School Tuition

$1885.94 Canadian, Tuition and Instructional Fees

Archaeology Field School Room and Board

We will depart from the University of Campus each day: students are responsible for their own room and board while attending the field school.

Archaeology Field School Travel
Supported by the University of Alberta

Archaeology Field School Description

Field School

2010 Archaeological Field School, University of Alberta

The Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta will be offering ANTHR 396, Archaeological Field Training, its undergraduate Field School in anthropological archaeology, from May 17 to June 18, 2010. Students will have the opportunity to excavate a significant site in the Aspen Parkland ecotone south of Lake Wabamun near the Transalta Sundance facility. This large residential or campsite location has traces of late Early Prehistoric Period presence (perhaps 8-9,000 years of age), substantial Oxbow, Hanna and Besant occupations during the Middle Prehistoric Period (ca. 3,000-5,000 years of age), and some Late Prehistoric Period occupation. Spanning several thousand years of human presence, the site has abundant evidence of stone tool use and manufacture, as well as mammal and bird faunal remains. It is regarded by the Archaeological Survey of Alberta as one of the richer archaeological records currently in the Aspen Parkland ecotone.

ANTHR 396, Archaeological Field Training

This is an introductory course covering basic archaeological field methods and techniques. The three principal components of the course will concern:

Field survey and site assessment strategies and techniques;
Intensive site excavation; and
Lab work and cataloguing of excavated materials.

The course consists of lectures coupled with direct experience in field and laboratory techniques, preparation of collections and their analysis, methods of intensive ground survey, and assessment and excavation of the site under investigation. Intensive site excavation will be the primary focus of student activities. Initial lectures will cover the basic framework on northern Plains prehistory, familiarization with typical tool types, raw stone material, ceramics and faunal remains. Duties will include maintaining accurate field notes, level records and profiles. Students will be responsible for ensuring that artifacts they have collected or excavated are cleaned as appropriate, and accurately catalogued for use in subsequent analysis. Students will also become familiar with regional landforms and Quaternary history related to the site, typical soil formation processes, and site vegetation. Students will be expected to take part in basic occupational health and safety familiarization connected with access to the site.

Further Course Work

Field School students will be welcome to use field school collections for further project work in directed reading courses and in conjunction with other courses such as ANTHR 256 (Alberta Archaeology), ANTHR 484/584 (Plains Archaeology), or ANTHR 491 (Stone Tools). Arrangements must be made in advance with Instructors for this follow-up coursework.


An introductory anthropology or archaeology course, plus consent of the Department of Anthropology.

Daily Routine

In class and laboratory activities will take place in Institute of Prairie Archaeology facilities at 8915 HUB as well as Department of Anthropology facilities (H. M. Tory Building) on the University of Alberta North Campus. Students will depart daily from the HUB location, commuting to and from the site. Should inclement weather preclude site excavations on any given day, students will work on artifact cleaning and cataloguing in 8915 HUB or other departmental laboratory facilities.

Fee Structure

For the 2010 Field School, students will pay the standard tuition for a University of Alberta 6-credit course of $1,160.94 (see details below). Students are also assessed a Mandatory Instructional Support Fee of $725, for a total Field School cost of $1,885.94.

How to Apply

Non-University of Alberta students must apply to the University of Alberta through Open Studies. Once a student id number is assigned, students can follow the procedures for University of Alberta students.

University of Alberta students can fill out a consent form, which are available in our office (13-15 Tory) or on our Student Forms page. Students will be registered by the Department once the application deadline has passed, space permitting.

The application deadline is March 15, 2010.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type

This Department of Archaeology, University of Alberta will concern a prehistoric archaeological site.

Time Period

Time periods reflected in existing assemblages extend from the terminal Paleoindian era to the Late Prehistoric Period, with the Middle Prehistoric Oxbow Complex being well represented.

Field School Setting/Conditions

The setting for the site is the Aspen Parkland ectone, between the Plains and Subarctic (Boreal Forest) regions. Weather conditions in the May-June period are general good, but rainy and cool weather are quite possible. Students should be prepared to cope with a variety of weather conditions.

How is the project area accessed each day

By vehicle, and with permission of the land owner.

What is the daily schedule for the field school

Five working days weekly, May 17-June 18.

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
The University of Alberta field school has operated over several decades, but this will be the first University of Alberta excavation at this site.
Is there a professional certification for this field school


Directors and Instructors

Dr. John W. (Jack) Ives
Executive Director, Institute of Prairie Archaeology
(Professor, Northern Plains Archaeology)
Department of Anthropology
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6G 2H4

On rain days will there be lab work?

Yes, students will be responsible for completing cataloguing and rudimentary analysis of their excavated material.

Will there be additional organized activities?

To be arranged.

Will there be additional organized activities?


Is travel restriced during free time?


Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Department of Anthropology
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6G 2H4


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