Field School

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Image: Göksu Archaeological Project members at an Ottoman castle in Silifke, Turkey

Field School is a prolonged period of intensive archaeological field work in your area of interest. Field school is an essential component in the training of an archaeologist.  At its core, the Archaeology Program endeavors to match the interests of the student with a field school opportunity that propels their educational and career goals forward.  In the past, students have attended field schools in Greece, Ireland, Spain, with mortuary archaeology in Poland, underwater archaeology in France, cave archaeology in Belize ... and many, many more!

CofC Field Schools

Faculty at the College of Charleston are actively engaged in archaeological field research.  The natural pattern of scholarship resulting in phases of data collection, analysis, and publication means that a variety of field projects have fulfilled this requirement over the years.  Current opportunties consist of:

  • Field School at Stono Preserve. Since 2007 Dr. Maureen Hays (College of Charleston) and Dr. Kim Pyszka (Auburn University at Montgomery) have been directing archaeological and historical research at Stono Preserve. The land has had a long occupational history because of its location along the Stono River, and its ecosystems ranging from long-leaf pine forests to wetlands and tidal marshes. Students explore prehistoric sites (Late Archaic Period 4,000 BC to 3,000 BC and the Woodland Period ca. 3,000 BC to 1,100 AD) and historic sites (colonial, plantation and Reconstruction) while receiving hands-on training in archaeological methods. Stono Preserve is a majestic 881-acre property along the Stono River and the Intercoastal Waterway. Within a myriad of ecosystems including long-leaf pine forests, wetlands, savannahs, and tidal marshes include evidence for human activity ranging from American Indian through to Euro-American habitation. College of Charleston at Stono Preserve.

  • Field School in Lowcountry Archaeology. For over 20 years, faculty and students have teamed with other Lowcountry archaeologists at the Charleston Museum to engage in excavation and survey of numerous sites throughout the region.  Such places have included Charlestowne Landing, Drayton Hall, Hampton Plantation, and Colonial Dorchester. 

Non-CofC Field Schools

In choosing a field school, students are encouraged to seek out opportunities that match well with their educational and future career goals. Many of these opportunities are found in fieldwork under the direction of archaeologists from other institutions. If students are considering an opportunity offered via another institution, students must first meet with the Director of Archaeology for consultation. For opportunities in the summer, it is best to meet in the preceding fall to review opportunities.  Students are encouraged to consult information advertised via the Archaeological Institute of America, the Institute for Field Research, and Shovelbums, and with faculty.  

The Archaeology Program looks to several criteria when approving field schools from other institutions:

  • Length of time in the field - typically 200 hours of combined fieldwork, data processing, and class time.
  • Educational elements - Field school opportunities should include formal instruction in theory and methods as applicable to the project.
  • Varying experiences - Field school opportunities should provide students with hands-on experience in several (if not all) components of the data collection processes being employed.

Consult with the Director of Archaeology to see if the field school you are interested in will meet the programmatic requirements. All field schools offered by other institutions MUST be pre-approved by the Director of Archaeology.

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