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Upcoming Field School Opportunities

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Field Schools Associated with Canadian Institutions

Location: Ajax, Ontario
Title: Boyd Archaeological Field School 2017
Dates: July 14 - July 30, 2017

Description: The Field School was founded in 1975, and has provided hundreds of students with the foundations of archaeological practice.  Many have gone on to post-secondary studies and careers in the field.
The course, open to students who have completed Grade 10, is offered as an Interdisciplinary Studies, Grade 12 University Prep credit (IDC4U).  The program is run by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in a partnership with the York Region District School Board.
Students live in dormitories at Claremont Field Centre, north of Ajax, and excavate the nearby Sebastien site a 14th century village ancestral to the Huron-Wendat nation.  In addition to fieldwork, there are visits from Indigenous speakers, lectures by leading professionals, seminars, and hands-on workshops in ancient technologies such as flint-knapping (stone-tool making), firestarting kits, cordage, fishtraps and other re-creations.  Evaluation is based on fieldwork, written assignments, seminars, workshops and a final exam. 

Tuition is $2395 (2695 for non-residents of Ontairo

course poster (

brochure ( )

Inquiries can be directed to Aldo Missio 905-832-2289 x223

Field Director: Alistair Jolly

Location: University of Calgary
Title: 2016 University of Calgary Public Archaeology
Dates: May 16 to June 17

Description: The University of Calgary is offering a volunteer excavation program at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park this summer.  Participants will excavate alongside members of the Archaeological Field School at the famous Cluny Fortified Village site.  First time participants will receive a tour of the archaeology site.  Volunteers will be supervised by experienced University of Calgary graduate students.  Training in archaeological excavation techniques will be provided on site.  All artifacts from the site are the property of the Siksika Nation and, ultimately, will be stored at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park Interpretive Centre.  The Program will operate from May 16 to June 17, 2016, Monday to Friday.  Cost consists of the daily admission fee to the Blackfoot Historical Park ($12.00 + GST for adults, $8.00 for children).  Participants will meet with volunteer program supervisors at the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park Interpretive Centre parking lot at 9:00am each day.  Please note that there are no overnight accommodation facilities at the park this year.  Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times; the minimum age requirement is 12.  All participants will be required to complete a Volunteer Liability Waiver Form and a Photography Waiver Form.  Participants under the age of 18 must also complete an Informed Consent Form.  

Check out the Facebook Page (University of Calgary Public Archaeology Program) -

The Website - for updates.  Please email or call 403-220-8537 to register or for further information.

Location: University of Alberta
Title: 2017 University of Alberta Field School, Brazeau Reservoir and Rangeland Research Institute Ranches, Alberta
Dates: May 23-June 23

Description: The 2017 offering of ANTHR 396: Archaeological Field Methods (6 credits) from the Institute of Prairie Archaeology, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta will be held at the Mattheis and Kinsella Ranches, operated by the Rangeland Research Institute in central and southern Alberta; we will also work with the Strathcona Archaeological Society at the Brazeau Reservoir, Drayton Valley area, where new Early Prehistoric Period discoveries, including fluted points, have recently been made. Students will apply methods of intensive ground survey in natural prairie and reservoir settings, and undertake assessment and excavation of sites under investigation. This will involve simulated site assessment and mitigation exercises conducted to regulatory standards for tipi ring and subsurface sites, from research design to reporting. Principal excavations will be at the Mattheis Ranch near Brooks, Alberta, and will involve a bison camp and processing area adjacent to a bison kill, dating to the Avonlea to Old Women’s Phase transitional period.  Students will have opportunities to see medicine wheels, ribstones and other important sites, and to learn from Treaty 6 and 7 First Nations ceremonialists.

Location: University of Northern British Columbia
Title: UNBC/Lake Babine Nation Archaeological Field School 2017
Dates: July 4-August 18

Description: This 15-credit (full semester) field school takes place in teh spectacular Babine Lake/Babine River area, an ancestral homeland of the Lake Babine Nation in the north-central interior of British Columbia.  The region has a rich Aboriginal history and it is also one of the most scenic places in British Columbia, with plentiful wildlfe and world-class fishing oppertunities.  It is not unusual for field school participants to see wildlife such as black and grizzly bears, moose, beavers, deer, eagles and thousands of Skeena River sockeye salmon that pass through the area annually.  Testing and excavation will take place on a large fishing villiage, and on an island that served as an ancho for several wooden fish weirs.

Location: Fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
Title: UNB Bioarcheology Field School
Date: July 23 - August 20, 2017

Description: The UNB Bioarchaeology Field School is now accepting applications for the 2017 season. Come explore the Fortress of Louisbourg in beautiful Cape Breton, Canada and learn about one of the most expansive 18th century Forts in North America. This field program will offer students a unique opportunity to excavate and analyze skeletal remains belonging to the villagers of Louisbourg but also those who fought and died during the sieges at the Fortress. As a National Historic Site of Canada that has been partially restored, students will have the opportunity to gain field experience while also learning about the Fort and experiencing East Coast Canadian culture. Please visit our website for further details and how to apply: You can also find us on FB @ UNB Bioarchaeology Field School.

Location: University of Victoria
Title: 2017 UVic Archaeological Field School in Barkley Sound
Date: July 3-August 11, 2017

Description: The Department of Anthropology at UVic will be running an archaeological field school in Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation territories on western Vancouver Island as part of two 1.5-credit courses (ANTH 343&344).  The first four days of the field school will be based in Victoria followed by two and a half weeks of remote camp-based fieldwork in the Broken Group Islands in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.  The final three weeks of the course will be spent at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (A UVic supported teaching and research facility in Barkley Sound) where students will conduct laboratory analysis and prepare written research reports on recovered archaeological materials.  This course will be an immersive six-week field experience (including hiking, camping, and boat travel) and require full days and dedicated teamwork.

Course Information:

Location: Saskatchewan Archaeology Society Field School
Titles: Wolf Willow site (Wanuskewin) and the Farr site, Ogema
Dates: TBA

Description: Not listed

Location: Trent University
Title: Summer 2016 Ontario Field School
Dates: May 2nd to June 10th, 2016

Description: The 2016 Ontario Field School provides a focused and intensive introduction to archaeological field methods, from Stage Two (field survey) to Stage Three and Four (excavation). Our fieldwork is supported by digital survey methods, GIS, and digital cartography, which provides participants with learning opportunities in GIS and Total Station survey. We will be working in the vicinity of Peterborough, ON, and mainly, but not exclusively, concentrating our activities on the further definition and excavation of both Historic and Woodland-period settlement patterns. The program runs for six weeks, between 2 May and 10 June (Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm). This is a non-residential field school, although summer accommodation is available on the Trent University campus.

The short and medium range goals of the Field School Program are:

  1. to provide participants with the technical knowledge required to participate effectively on archaeological field survey and excavation methods in Ontario;
  2. to promote understanding of the Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists (Ontario);
  3. develop participants' theoretical understanding of the role of archaeological fieldwork and its relationship to broader issues (First Nations and heritage rights, conservation, ethics, stake holder concerns; etc.); and
  4. build participants' respect and understanding of Ontario's archaeological heritage.

In all cases, the technical and practical work will be situated in an evolving problem-oriented framework, to which you are expected to contribute through the course.

Location: Saint Mary’s University
Title: Grand-Pré Archaeological Field School 2016
Dates: May 4th to June 1st, 2016:

Description: Not listed

Field Schools Associated with International Institutions

Location: Scotland
Title: HARP Jacobites, Clearance and Scots! Field School
Dates: June 10 - 24th 2017

Description: The 2017 project will focus on sections of the routes undertaken by Pococke in 1760 (Blair Castle to Crieff via General Wade’s Military Road), and De Saint-Fond in 1784 (Kenmore to Dunkeld via Aberfeldy). Pococke visited Blair Castle, and both of these tours visited Taymouth Castle and its grounds, where the Earls of Breadalbane were significant figures in this period of Scotland’s history. Our survey will trace and record by historical research, photography, technical drawing, building recording and GIS, the visible remains of these routes including sections of Wade’s Road and its bridges. It will also record a selection of contemporary settlements and architecture. 

The field school will be based in the Perthshire and Tayside region of the Central Highlands, and accommodation will be based near Blair Atholl. Accommodation will be provided in a traditional, luxury, hunting lodge on the Atholl Estate (, a great opportunity to experience the Scottish Highlands. Participants will have full access to the Lodge facilities, which includes wifi, entertainment facilities, payphone, and beautiful grounds. Twin shared rooms will be provided, and the lodge has full catering facilities where we will prepare our meals. All meals will be provided on workdays of the project. The middle weekend of the fortnight will be free time allowing participants to explore the surrounding area at their leisure. Local highlights include the estate grounds at Blair Atholl, Blair Castle, The Blair Atholl Distillery etc.

The total cost for the field school is £750 (GBP) per person and includes accommodation, all meals on workdays, transport on all workdays and site visits. A £25 discount will be applied to all bookings made before 31st December 2016. Transport to and from the field school is not included but free pick-ups will be arranged between Blair Atholl and the field school accommodation. A limited number of transfers to/from Edinburgh will be available for an extra fee and information on this will be provided on request. 

Deadline: May 15, 2016



Location:  England
Title:  We Dig the Castle
July 17th (weekdays) to August 18, 2017

We Dig the Castle offers a variety of courses, ranging from a 1 or 2 day taster to a 1-5 week study place. A changing daily programme of induction, skills tutorials, task-based workshops, and excavation allows trainees to develop and practice skills in a variety of areas, and to chart how their abilities have developed.

It returns for 2017 on weekdays between 17 July and 18 August, with a family day on 22 July and a Saturday training session on 5 August. 

Weekday training sessions include: 

  • Principles of excavation: stratigraphy and contexts
  • Excavation techniques 
  • Site recording: planning, levelling, section drawing, photography and context description 
  • Survey & laser scanning 
  • Post-excavation and processing 
  • Organic and inorganic finds
  • Environmental evidence and samples, including flotation

You’ll work with experienced field archaeologists from Trent & Peak Archaeology, including our Community Archaeologist. A variety of experts from both Trent & Peak Archaeology and the wider archaeological community will join us for specialist tutorials and workshops.   

The team: We Dig the Castle is the ideal opportunity to develop your archaeological skills, particularly if you are working towards (or have) a qualification. We offer a supportive, small-group, environment with high staff to trainee ratios. Trainees will work alongside professional archaeologists from Trent & Peak Archaeology and join in workshops and tutorials delivered by subject specialists.

We have an established reputation and strong working relationships with a number of archaeology departments, and are experienced in completing the placement journals that may be required by your university. In 2015 and 2016 students from universities from across the UK and from abroad came to train with We Dig the Castle.

The site: This is a unique chance to be part of an excavation of a Scheduled Ancient Monument, on a site famous across the world. This is your opportunity to discover an almost unknown area of Nottingham Castle. 2017 trainees will be excavating at a new lower level, with the possibility of uncovering the castle's first evidence of the English Civil War.

Find out more:
Contact: Alison, on 011 44 8967400 or at
Book online:

For a List of additional international field school programs please visit

Shovelbums Archeology and Anthropology Field Schools Directory

The Archaeological Institute of America’s Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin