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Anthropology Field Schools

Get your hands dirty.

All anthropology majors get to have field school experience. This gives you hands-on training in archaeological methods.

You can choose the experience that interests you most.

Ryan Gray

Field School Contact

Ryan Gray

(309) 438-8669

Illinois State Field Schools

Our department runs two archaeological field schools.

Heyworth, IL

The Noble-Wieting archaeological site is a large Native American village dating back to 1200 A.D. Students continue to unearth ancient tools, ceramic bowls, elk bones, and more.

Learn more about field school in Heyworth

Kampsville, IL

Field Archaeology and Geophysical Testing
The Advanced Field School Field Archaeology and Geophysical Testing track is an intensive field experience for undergraduate and graduate students of all skill and experience levels. Stationed at the Center for American Archeology, Kampsville, IL, students gain experience in archaeological excavation, laboratory methods, geophysics, theory, and research design while participating in the problem-oriented research in the Lower Illinois River Valley with CAA archaeologists. Students learn geophysical survey and analysis, total station use, excavation methods, mapping, soil description, artifact and debris processing, water flotation sample collection processing, and curation. Practical experiences are supplemented by reading assignments and lectures by field school staff and guest lecturers. Fieldwork during the 2023 program will be at the German Site (11C377), a Late Woodland Jersey Bluff phase habitation site located ~2 miles south of Kampsville. Instructor: Dr. Jason King

Bioarchaeology and Human Osteology
Bioarchaeology and Human Osteology program offered at the Center for American Archeology in Kampsville, Illinois enables students to work first-hand with skeletal remains in an intensive six-week immersion course. An important aspect of this class involves learning about skeletal analysis in a problem-oriented context that is suitable for students interested in a variety of subjects: bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, medical and dental science, or skeletal biology. Students will attend daily lectures covering topics such as: skeletal anatomy; osteological techniques for estimating age and sex, paleopathology and genetic relatedness, among others. In addition to lectures, students will have access to skeletal study collections that facilitate learning about skeletal anatomy, analytical methods, and engaging in independent research. Well-trained and knowledgeable teaching assistants also enhance the classroom and laboratory experiences. Instructor: Dr. Jane Buikstra

Learn more about the field school in Kampsville Please note, this field school has a fee of $4,010, in addition to ISU tuition for ANT 381 or 481. The fee covers room and board at the Kampsville site and can be paid online. Non ISU students will need to apply to ISU as a visiting student through the Office of Admissions to enroll in ANT 381 or 481.

Cherokee, NC

The Historic Cherokee Landscapes project investigates Cherokee community resilience and reformation during the 16th century to early 18th century. This was a period of volatile change in the U.S. Southeast due to warfare, disease, and involvement in global economic networks associated with European colonization.

Additional Field Schools

We partner with lots of other schools and organizations around the world to offer engaging archaeological training.

Giecz, Poland

Experience human osteology and mortuary archeology at an early medieval inhumation cemetery.

Learn more about field school in Poland

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Get practical experience in ethnographic methods and engage in cross-cultural processes. At this field school, you'll study the complex social and political contexts between culture and environment.

Learn more about field school in Mexico

ArchaeoSpain - Spain, Italy, and Greece

Choose a program and location that most interests you. ArchaeoSpain lets you excavate ancient sites with professional archaeologists. You'll experience history first-hand and learn how to uncover the past.

Learn more about ArchaeoSpain

Blackfriary Archaeology Field School - Ireland

Learn archaeological field methods in a friendly supportive environment in an excellent, long established Field School at the Blackfriary, Trim, Co. Meath, Ireland.

Learn more about Blackfriary Archaeology Field School