2024 US (CA) Zooarchaeology Theory and Practice

Location: Exposition / Watt, Los Angeles, CA 90037, USA

Season: June 17, 2024 to July 12, 2024

Application Deadline: April 6, 2024

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Los Angeles Natural History Museum (US) and Center for Field Sciences (US)

Project Director:
Dr. Aharon Sasson – Director, San Diego Zooarchaeology Laboratory at the San Diego Natural History Museum and Dr. Amy Gusick – Curator of Anthropology, Natural History Museum Los Angeles County

Project Description:

This is a laboratory program, focused on the identification and interpretation of archaeological faunal materials. In addition to covering theoretical approaches to faunal remain interpretations, laboratory course work will concentrate on developing proficiency in identifying mammal, fish, bird, and herptile specimens. In addition to learning species identification, students will study taphonomic processes, assemblage formation, and the use of bone data to investigate archaeological research questions.

Students will learn how to use comparative collections for actual research of materials excavated archaeologically. Using the Natural History Museum comparative collections, students will archaeological materials from the Channel Islands (including remains from Daisy Cave and the Big Dog Cave as well as 19th century historic material recovered from the area surrounding the museum. The course is design to develop experienced and capable researchers in zooarcheology, a first step to a possible career in academia or the Cultural Resource Management sector. Students will be shown the many career pathways available to anthropology majors and will prepare application materials for a job in their preferred pathway. Students will be trained in both academic writing and public interpretation of faunal materials. Honors thesis and graduate level research work with the collections is possible and encouraged.

Period(s) of Occupation: Pre contact and contact period

Tuition is $3,425. This is a non residential programs and students should find their own local accommodations. Minority and Travel Grants are available for this field school.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full program length

Minimum Age: 18 years old

Experience Required: None. This is hands-on, experiential learning and students will study on-site how to conduct zooarchaeological research. Students are required to come equipped with sufficient excitement and adequate understanding that the work requires patience, discipline, and attention to detail.

Room and Board Arrangements:
This is a non-residential program. Students are responsible for their own room and board.

Academic Credit:
8 Semester Credit Units (equivalent to 12 Quarter Credit Units) are awarded through our School of Record – Culver Stockton College

Contact Information:

CFS Admissions

Los Angeles




Phone: (562) 584-0761

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