Archaeological Field School in Plymouth, Massachusetts
This field school is collaboration between the Department of Anthropology and the Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research at UMass Boston, Plimoth Plantation, and the Town of Plymouth.
About the Program
The field class will take place at a series of sites in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This summer’s work is part of “Project 400: The Plymouth Colony Archaeological Survey,” a broad project of site survey and excavation leading up the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Colony in 2020. This year’s focus will be on surface reconnaissance and mapping, shallow geophysical remote sensing, and test excavations in downtown Plymouth. Through daily archaeological fieldwork and laboratory analysis students will learn the process of field recording, mapping, excavation, sample collection, and basic artifact analysis in historical archaeology. The course includes an emphasis on learning howshallow geophysics techniques are applied to site analysis, excavation, and interpretation. A series of trips to local museums and sites is included as part of the class.
This project will be directed by Professor David Landon and Christa Beranek and run in collaboration with Professors John Steinberg and Brian Damiata of UMass Boston, and Kathryn Ness at Plimoth Plantation. During the class we will be working out of Plimoth Plantation’s facilities and collaborating on site interpretation and public outreach with the museum staff. While students are welcome to commute to the project, we will also have an option for students from farther away to camp on the grounds of the museum.
Plymouth Colony Archaeological Survey — Project Overview
The approaching 400th anniversary of the founding of the Plymouth Colony (1620-2020) provides a unique opportunity for research and education on the early colonial history and archaeology of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research at University of Massachusetts Boston, in conjunction with Plimoth Plantation, and the Town of Plymouth, has begun planning for a series of collaborative initiatives focused on this quatercentenary. Over the next several years we expect to work, in cooperation with other scholars and stakeholders, on archaeological research projects and field schools, public programming, teacher training, and similar activities. These projects are designed to help create a scholarly legacy for the 400th anniversary, teach students and teachers the archaeology and history of Plymouth and its place in the 17th-century Atlantic World, and engage the public in a meaningful consideration of the period and its impact on both Colonial and Native communities.
Successful participants will be awarded 6 credits in ANTH 485/685, Field Research in Archaeology.
About the Fiske Center
The Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research supports interdisciplinary, archaeological research that examines the historical roots of many of the world’s contemporary cultural and environmental issues.