Excavation Site Opportunities (Field Schools)

Çatalhöyük (Ian Hodder)

catalhoyuk_2.jpgSince 2003, Stanford University's professor Ian Hodder has been taking a small number of undergraduate students (5-8 per season) on his long-running, international excavation at Çatalhöyük, near Konya, Turkey.

The field season usually takes place in July and August, and most travel and living expenses for qualified students are funded through Stanford University's Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE).

The current excavations under the direction of Ian Hodder began in 1993. The site is a 9000-year-old town in central Turkey. It is famous for its great size (about 13 hectares) at an early date and its rich art and symbolism. The specific aims starting in 2003 are to use extensive excavation methods to open up larger areas of the site so that overall community structure can be studied, and so that larger numbers of buildings can be put on display for tourism.

The students spend 4 weeks learning basic excavation methods (use of tools, soil description, sampling, artifact collection and analysis, recording, drawing, photography, data entry). They also have the opportunity to work more closely on the artifacts, bones, seeds, geology, digital recording, and conservation. The students create the primary data through excavation, and do most of the initial recording and classification. Çatalhöyük is one of the few sites where sampling and study strategies can be observed and learned on site due to the large number of specialists in residence.

In contrast to other excavation projects offered through Stanford, Çatalhöyük requires very early registration for interested undergraduates. Because the Turkish government requires students' names to be listed on permit applications by the start of November, we must select undergraduate students in early October of each year .

For more information, see www.catalhoyuk.com.

El Presidio de San Francisco, California (Barbara Voss)

El Presidio de San Francisco was the first Spanish-colonial settlement in the San Francisco Bay area. At the time it was founded in 1776, El Presidio de San Francisco was at the northern edge of Spain’s American frontier – the most remote and isolated settlement in the Spanish empire. The Presidio was a fortified village that housed a diverse population of settlers from present-day Northwest Mexico as well as Native Californians who worked and lived at the settlement.

The archaeological site includes the architectural remains of the settlement’s main quadrangle and central plaza, as well as rich deposits of material culture and remnants of outlying settlements. The ultimate goal of this research project is to understand the complex interactions between colonial and native populations in 18th and 19th century California, and to trace the emergence of the City of San Francisco from its origins at the Presidio. During the summer off-campus field program, Stanford students will live at the Presidio and participate in excavations, survey, and laboratory research there. Students can also get involved in ongoing research through on-campus lab projects, internships with the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust, and senior papers and honors theses.

For more information, see http://www.stanford.edu/group/presidio/index.html

Georgia Sea Island Cultural Heritage Preservation Project (Paulla Ebron)

seaisland_1.jpgAt the intersection between Africa and African America lie the Georgia Sea Islands. This is the site where scholars have best shown that the agency and cultural heritage of Africans made a difference in the making of the North American political economy. African American history, linguistics, folklore, photography, art, film, and literature all focused on this small region as the site of the most authentic New World African culture. This field research experience centers around landscape and the making of landscape, and also examines projects of social sciences and the political activists that are part of making the Georgia Sea Islands, one of the most significant sites of African American culture. This project envisions a multi-dimensional field school that explores post-slavery landscapes in the Georgia Sea Islands, and involves undergraduate students in many aspects of anthropological field methodology. It includes attending a two-week introductory seminar about the Georgia Sea Islands community, and spending three to four additional weeks conducting interviews, engaging in archival work, and making use of the anthropological method of participant-observation. The project will focus on environmental history, science studies, gender, material culture, oral histories, and cultural geography as ways of understanding the intersections between culture and history. Students should have an interest in the civil rights movement, gender, tourism, cultural heritage, material culture, oral histories, landscape, and geography.

For more information, see http://www.stanford.edu/~pebron/fieldschool.html.

(This project will not be offered in 2012. Please check back later this year for information regarding 2013).

Pueblo of Abó, New Mexico (Michael Wilcox)

wilcox_NM.jpgThe Field School will be located in the Salinas district of central New Mexico, located east of the Rio Grande and southeast of Albuquerque. The major field site, Abó Pueblo, is located 10 miles west of the town of Mountainair. Abó Pueblo is part of the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. Undergraduate and graduate students will receive training in archaeological field methods, focusing particularly on excavation and mapping. Students will also learn artifact recording and analyses while actively participating in a long-term research study of the late prehispanic and early colonial periods in the Salinas district.

South Africa Heritage (Lynn Meskell)


San Francisco City (Kathleen Coll)

(This project will not be offered in 2012. Please check back later this year for information regarding 2013).