Archaeological Field Work

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Do you want to feel the thrill of adventure?
Look into Archaeological expeditions.
Too far away? No money? Why not use the power of the Internet?

First read the instructions, then visit the links.

Activity 1:
Look at the different links.
Choose a "dig" you would like to work on.
Write a letter to the organizers requesting information on how you can volunteer to help.
Include information on why you think you would be useful.

Activity 2:
Look at the different links. Choose a "dig" and imagine you are one of the archaeologists working on this site.
Describe what you have found, what you hope to find and something about the people who lived there.
You can work individually or in pairs or groups.
Report back to the class in a written report and/or oral presentation.


The Americas
Western Belize Regional Cave Project - Since 1996 archaeologists of Western Belize Regional Cave Project have been collecting and analyzing data aimed at understanding the use of caves by the prehistoric Maya.

Huari-Ancash, Peru - The project is under the direction of Bebel Ibarra, Phd Candidate for University of Paris 1, Pantheon Sorbonne. This project has been in the process of development since 1997, the early years being focused on surveys to determine the patterns of settlement and chronology of sites.

Blue Creek, Belize - MRP’s work at the Blue Creek Ruin in Belize is an important investigation of the Maya civilization.

St. Eutastius Center for Archaeological Field Work - The St Eustatius Center for Archaeological Research (S.E.C.A.R.) was formed as a not-for-profit research group under the St. Eustatius Historical Foundation on St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles in 2000. The S.E.C.A.R. was established to provide a permanent archaeological presence on St. Eustatius with the goal of protecting and developing the historical resources located on the island in full cooperation

Anglo-American Project in Pompeii - Focused on examining the early occupation of Pompeii and how the city developed and changed over the course of its history.

Achill, Ireland-The Deserted Village Project - The Deserted Village is located on the southern slopes of Slievemore Mountain (2214ft/671m), the highest mountain on Achill Island. On this same mountain are located, Megalithic tombs, Bronze Age Round Houses and Prehistoric Field walls, the remains of an Iron Age Cashel, a Holy Well and early Medieval Cross Slabs.

The Porolissium Forum Project - Porolissium is one of the largest and best-preserved archaeological sites in all of Romania. Located in modern-day Salaj County, this border limes military center was established in AD 106 by the Roman Emperor Trajan to defend the main passageway through the Meses (Carpathian) Mountains into the province of Dacia Porolissensis. After just a few decades, Porolissum evolved into an important commercial center that facilitated trade between the Romans and “barbarian” peoples and continued to thrive for nearly a millennium after the Roman withdrawal from Dacia in AD 271.

Dolforwyn Castel, Powys, Wales - This long-term excavation was started in 1981 with the intention of completely excavating the interior of a short-period occupation Welsh castle.

Middle East
Abila of the Decapolis, Jordan - The Site's archaeological history spans from the Chalcolithic Age up to the middle of the Ottoman period. It has a heavy early Islamic occupation, but the popular features consist of the numerous basilicas, Roman tombs which show reuse during the Byzantine Era, remnants of artistic mosaic floors, the subterranean water system, and a puzzling complex at the base of the theater cavea.

Landscape Archaeology in Cicilia - This archaeological survey will focus on the largely undocumented and unexplored Gulf of Iskenderun (Hatay, Turkey), where the Cilician plain narrows to fifteen kilometers and combines three topographic features: seacoast, plain, and mountains. Cilicia, the largest plain in the eastern Mediterranean, functioned for millennia as an interface in the cultural and economic exchange between Aegean and coastal centers in the West and the interior empires of Anatolia, Syria, and Mesopotamia in the East. This region, a favorite haunt of pirates, has formed part of the Hittite, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Armenian, Crusader, and Ottoman empires.

Kinneret Regional Project - The Kinneret Regional Project - a German-Finnish-Swiss joint expedition - offers you the possibility to participate in the excavation of the ancient city of Kinneret (Tell el-'Oreimeh/Tel Kinrot) situated in a politically quiet area some kilometers north of Tiberias on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee.

The Tel Gezer Excavation and Publication Project - The Tel Gezer Excavation and Publication Project is a consortium of institutions under the direction of Steve Ortiz and Sam Wolff. It is a multi-disciplinary field project investigating the Iron Age history of the ancient biblical city of Tel Gezer.

The United State of America
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center - For more than 15 years, Crow Canyon archaeologists have been carefully piecing together information that will help them understand the prehistoric people who once flourished in the Four Corners region. The Center's goal is to reconstruct the cultural and natural environment in order to understand how the relationship between the two brought about a change in ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) life.

Lenape Meadow Archaeological Excavation - The Lenape Meadow Excavation is a public archaeology project with spring and fall programs. Participation is based solely on interest for ages 15 or above (or under 15 with an adult registrant). The site has attracted high school students, members of the general public, avocational archaeologists, and graduate students in archaeology and other fields. The only criterion is the desire to learn the techniques and methods of field archaeology. The project sessions are conducted on Sundays, 9am-2pm, from April through June and September through November. Participation is limited, so register early by calling Somerset County Environmental Education Center at 908-766-2489. The cost for each session is $65. Although the focus of the program is on fieldwork, during inclement weather we work inside at the Environmental Center, cleaning and cataloguing the material found. Additional work may be done on material uncovered from a previous excavation at the Lord Stirling Manor site.

Archaeology in Action for Adults - This summer join Museum archaeologists in the continued excavation of the Danbury site, a prehistoric Native American settlement located in the Sandusky Bay area. The Danbury site contains the remains of several prehistoric occupations, the earliest of which dates to 4,500 years ago. The program is designed for museum members who want to participate in an archaeological dig but cannot spare the large amount of time usually required.

Other Areas
Sino-American Field School of Archaeology - In 1990, the Fudan Museum Foundation in collaboration with Xi'an Jiaotong University, and the Archaeological Research institute of Shaanxi Province, established the Sino-American Field School of Archaeology. The Education Commission of Shaanxi Province, China, and the Society of Professional Archaeologists, (USA), accredited the school. Since c. 1906 China was closed for foreign archaeologist, SAFSA was the first foreign group which had a permit to excavate in Xi'an together with Chinese archaeologists. Presently more foreign groups are excavating under Chinese supervision.

Excavations in Amheida - Columbia's excavation at the ancient city site of Amheida, in the Dakhleh Oasis of Upper Egypt, is a unique combination of educational program and archaeological fieldwork, carrying on a multidisciplinary excavation at the highest contemporary standard and offering undergraduate students the opportunity for a semester in Egypt that combines fieldwork with classroom study and visits to archaeological sites and museums. We make our ongoing work on site available internationally to both scholarly and public audiences via the web as well as printed work.

Holley Shelter - South Africa Holley Shelter is located in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa in the foothills of the Drakensburg Mountains, on the eastern plateau slope. Holley Shelter is a shallow, curving rock shelter which is approximately 50 meters long and, at its widest, 9 meters deep. At present the shelter is position approximately 8 to 9 meters above a tributary of the Mgeni River.

Australian Rock Art Field School - This fieldschool provides a unique opportunity for students to undertake 'community' archaeology in Australia. Students will have the chance to learn practical archaeological skills while at the same time developing other practical and personal skills necessary to conduct archaeological research with Aboriginal communities. In particular, students will focus on the recording of rock art in its wider cultural context. The fieldschool will involve some seminars, informal interaction with Kunbarlanja (Oenpelli) community members, and will also be directed towards in-depth practical recording skills necessary for rock art research in an archaeological framework.

Teacher's Instructions

Hotlists are like bibliographies--they are a list of Internet sites united by a theme. The theme of this activity is archaeology.

Possible procedures:

Activity 1: Students choose a "dig" they would like to work on. They write letters to the organizers and request information on how they can volunteer to help.

Activity 2: Students choose a "dig" and imagine they are one of the archaeologists working on this site. They describe what they have found, what they hope to find and something about the people who lived there. They can work individually or in pairs or groups. They report back to the class in a written report and/or oral presentation.

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