Jamaica is home to the Bluefields area and offers a unique site for learning archaeological field methods. Topographical mapping, georeferencing stratigraphic excavation are just some of the hands-on skills you’ll develop. Deep-water reconnaissance and shallow water reconnaissance opportunities will set you apart as well.
(Upper division and Graduate level each earn up to 5 credit hours)
This program is limited to 10 students with a wait list. A deposit and full application is required to be placed on the wait list. A full refund is available for those on the wait list who are not accepted into the program.
For undergraduate level - Required: Introduction to Archaeology. Recommended: At least one upper-level course in archaeology, preferably emphasizing archaeological theory and methods. For graduate level - Required: Prior archaeological field school training and additional field experience; multiple upper-division courses in archaeology and preferably other subdivisions of anthropology.
How can this course count towards major requirements at other universities?
This course is an archaeological field school—a requirement of many anthropological or related degree programs and students pursuing an archaeological focus. It may also count towards major requirements in other social, behavioral, or historic preservation/conservation/sustainability programs. The official course description from the Murray State University catalog (for first time field-school participants) reads as follows:
Field training in the strategy and tactics of archaeological survey and excavation; intensive instruction in the recovery and documentation of cultural remains and data from archaeological sites
After successful completion of this course, students will be able to
Undertake a variety of archaeological field methods and over the course of the program, obtain increasing work independence.
Students will gain proficiency in topographical mapping, the georeferencing of cultural resource localities, terrestrial survey, test unit setup, stratigraphic excavation, sediment descriptions, data recording and recovery, note-taking, stratigraphic profile interpretation and mapping, and field materials processing and basic analysis.
Students will also have the opportunity to participate in an underwater survey component. Those with scuba certification will be able to participate in deep-water reconnaissance. Those lacking scuba certification will be able to participate in shallow water reconnaissance utilizing snorkeling equipment.
Students also will gain an understanding for when and why particular field methods are appropriate to the larger research design of the project.
How will students who take part in this field school be able to use this experience?
They will gain valuable international study abroad experience,
Bolster applications to graduate degree programs,
Obtain the necessary credentials complementary to an undergraduate degree that will qualify them for employment as archaeological field technicians,
Gain the hands on experience to complement formal class-based instruction,
Connect abstract theoretic constructs with real-world applications and evaluations and
Publicly present research findings with other students to community groups.
Especially motivated students will also:
Be considered for future opportunities to participate in the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, and
Contribute as an author or coauthor on future reports, presentations, and publications.