Opportunities to Learn Field Methods

Our courses concentrate on artifact identification in the field and introduces laboratory strategies of artifact preparation.

Undergraduate or graduate students interested in developing a working understanding of the field methods of modern prehistoric and historic archaeology who want to gain experience in site survey, testing, and excavation can contact us for more information.

Archaeology Field School

Summers, ANTH 494, 5-6 credits

The summer archaeology field school is designed to give students a level of competency in the archaeological field process. The course includes intensive instruction in site sampling, excavation, and mapping. Emphasis is given to documentation of stratigraphy and soils, record-keeping, and field photography. Often, students are introduced to the process of geophysical survey. In recent years the field school has been held in Georgia at the Native American province of Capachequi, famously visited by the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto.

For information contact Dr. Dennis Blanton, blantodb@jmu.edu

Ethnographic Experience in Dominica

Alternative Spring Break (ANTH 395)

This is an upper-level anthropology course that centers around JMU’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip to the Caribbean island of Dominica (not the Dominican Republic). Students enrolled in ANTH 395 will be immersed in the culture of Dominica through meetings and experiences with our hosts and through participation in cultural and eco-tourism activities around the island. Before departing, students will carry out extensive background study of the island's history, culture, and languages, and will formulate individual projects. While in Dominica, students will explore their topics of interest through observation of and first-hand participation in everyday life in home, school, work, and community settings, including a service-learning project with our Dominican partners.

This 3-credit course is offered every two years during the spring semester and requires permission of the instructor.

For more information, contact Dr. Amy Paugh at: paughal@jmu.edu 

Kenya Summer Program

Summers — Kenya

This field school offers students an opportunity to learn about Kenya through intensive, firsthand experiences. Through travel and engagement with Kenyan hosts, students will study topics in anthropology, history, politics, development, environment, literature, and the ways in which these general foci interrelate with one another. This program is open to students from all majors.

Cameroon Summer Program

Summers — Biological and Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation

This program offers a unique opportunity to see a part of the world few people get to experience.  You will learn about the biological, social, and cultural aspects of wildlife conservation in the tropics through direct interaction and complete immersion in Cameroon society.  You will camp and hike in the rainforest, learning to survey and study plants, birds, primates and other animals.  You will travel to many different parts of Cameroon, from lowland to montane forests, from big cities to tiny villages, closely interacting with Cameroonians along the way, including scientists, farmers, hunters, pastoralists, and more.

You must be a mature, responsible student who enjoys the outdoors and has an open mind.  Students studying biology, geographic science, environmental science, anthropology, or sociology may be particularly interested in this program — but all majors and interests are welcome!

For more information, download the flier here and contact Dr. Joshua Linder at: linderjm@jmu.edu

JMU's Montpelier Archaeology Field School


The Archaeology Field School at James Madison’s Montpelier is 4 weeks long, and is offered as a 4 credit-hour course. 

For more information contact Dr. Julie Solometo solomejp@jmu.edu and visit the Montpelier website.

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