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 Hassanamesit Woods in Grafton, Massachusetts.

About the Program

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

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 Hassanamesit Woods Project is a collaborative effort involving the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research, the Town of Grafton, Massachusetts, and the Nipmuc Nation. The goals of the project are to use archaeology and geophysical survey to explore the history and heritage of the Nipmuc people of Massachusetts. Previous excavations have focused on the 200-acre parcel known today as Hassanamesit Woods. Previous excavations have demonstrated that the parcel was part of Nipmuc country for at least 4,000 years. The chief focus of our research has been the Sarah Burnee Phillips/Sarah Boston farmstead that was a Nipmuc residence between 1750 and 1840. Work has also focused on the Eighteenth Century home site of Deborah Newman, a Nipmuc woman who was a contemporary of Sarah Boston’s and was part of the same Hassanamesit community.

During the summer of 2015 excavations will focus on the Deborah Newman site and the surrounding area of Keith Hill in Grafton, Massachusetts. 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 survey and remote sensing. These techniques will be used to carry out geophysical surveys of additional sites in collaboration with the Nipmuc Nation.

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 and the history of Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island, New York. 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, indigenous archaeology, cultural and urban studies, and environmental history.