Field School in Historical Archaeology at Hassanamesit Woods

UMass Boston archaeology students at Grafton, MA field study

This summer the department of Anthropology in conjunction with the Andrew Fiske Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Massachusetts Boston will sponsor a field school in historical archaeology at Hassanamesitt Woods in Grafton, Massachusetts.

About the Program

This field program is designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students in anthropology, archaeology, history, and American Studies. Students accepted into the program will receive training in archaeological field methods excavation and material culture analysis. Students will also receive training in site mapping, environmental sampling, and field conservation.

Courses and Credit

This summer students will receive training in archaeological survey techniques, open area excavation techniques and mapping. Students will also have the opportunity to work with staff from the Fiske Center who specialize in environmental archaeology soils analysis, geophysical survey, remote sensing and botanical analysis.

Successful participants will be awarded six undergraduate or graduate credits for:

ANTH 485/685, Field Research in Archaeology
A supervised sequence of field research in archaeology. This research involves continuous study in a field situation directed by a professional anthropologist. The course may include attendance at field schools directed by qualified faculty outside the University, with permission of the department. No more than six credits from field research courses (483, 484, 485, 486) can be applied toward the major.

About The Hassanamesit Woods Project

The Hassanamessitt Woods Project is a collaborative effort between the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research, the Town of Grafton, Massachusetts and the Nipmuc Tribal Nation. The overall goals of the project are to investigate a 200 acre parcel that was once part of the Native Community of Hassanamisco, one of earliest and largest of the Christian Indian Communities established by John Eliot during the Seventeenth Century. Initial archaeological investigations of the property identified several Native American sites spanning an occupation of some 4,000 years. Information gleaned from current and future archaeological investigations will be used by the Town and the Nipmuc Nation to develop educational and interpretive materials for use in the local schools concerning local Native American and Anglo-American history and culture.

During the summer of 2017 excavations will focus on the Augustus Salisbury property, a Nineteenth Century English farmstead that contains early Eighteenth Century deposits that we believe are linked to the Nipmuc community of Hassanmisco including a meeting house and school used by Nipmuc and English settlers. Students will gain training in large-scale block excavation, stratigraphic interpretation, field recording, material culture identification and mapping. Students will also have the opportunity to work with specialists from the Fiske Center who specialize in geophysical testing, paleoethnobotany, zooarchaeology, and soils analysis.

About The Andrew Fiske Center for Archaeological Research

The Andrew Fiske Center for Archaeological Research was established in 1999 by Alice H. Fiske as a living memorial to her late husband Andrew to celebrate his love of archaeology. The Center supports interdisciplinary, archaeological research that examines the historical roots of many of the world's contemporary cultural and environmental issues. Working as an integrative force within the University, the Center seeks to expand research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of historical archaeology, environmental archaeology, cultural and urban studies, and environmental history.

For more information about the Fiske Center and its activities, visit

Schedule & Fee

Program Runs:
May 30 - June 28, 2017

Undergraduate: $2,655
Graduate: $3,345

To Apply

Application Deadline:
May 15, 2017

Download 2017 Application

More Information

For application and more information, please contact:

Stephen Mrozowski