Fieldwork

Advanced Field Experience in Bioarchaeology

Location: Lockbourne, OH, US

Season: September 17, 2018 to October 12, 2018

Session Dates: Module 1: September 17th - September 30th, 2018; Module 2: October 1st - October 12th, 2018

Application Deadline: September 2, 2018

Deadline Type: Rolling

Website: https://www.irlabnp.org/advanced-field-experience-in-bioarchaeology/

Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:
no

Affiliation:
The Institute for Research and Learning in Archaeology and Bioarchaeology

Project Director:
Dr. Giuseppe Vercellotti & Dr. Francesco Coschino

Project Description:

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The excavation of human burials is a sensitive undertaking that must be carried out with utmost professionalism. Specialized bioarchaeological training is essential to ensure that human burials are uncovered, documented, and removed properly, that is, without damaging the remains or destroying precious information. However, unless they have specialized in the excavation of human remains, even professional archaeologists may not always be up to the task.

This field-based program was developed specifically for advanced students and CRM professionals interested in furthering their professional training by acquiring bioarchaeological skills and experience.

By working in small groups, side-by-side with IRLAB’s professional team, participants will have the opportunity to excavate burials from start to finish. Upon completion of the program, participants will have learned how to properly identify, excavate, document, and remove human burials in archaeological context.

 

PROGRAM MODULES

Participation in the program will provide participants with exposure to all of the elements of human burial excavation outlined in the Learning Objectives of the program.  In order to accommodate the needs of professional schedules, this program is organized in two distinct, additive modules. Each module may be taken as a stand-alone program, although both modules combined provide the best training and experience. Individuals interested in acquiring bioarchaeological experience to serve in leading roles in the recovery of human remains should participate in both modules.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES OF THIS PROGRAM

Upon completion of the program, participants will have become familiar with the following major components of human burial excavation, and related learning objectives:

  • Stratigraphic interpretation of human burials
    • Learn how to identify burial cuts.
    • Understand the stratigraphic relations between adjacent contexts.
    • Interpret the different components of a burial and the distinct funerary behavioral actions they represent.
  • Bioarchaeological excavation techniques
    • Become familiar with the proper methods, tools, and techniques for excavating the different components of human burials, with a focus on exposing skeletal remains while minimizing bone destruction and information loss.
    • Learn how to interpret taphonomic processes from the examination of the skeletal elements in the field.
    • Learn how to conduct basic analyses of the remains in situ to develop a preliminary biological profile in the field;
    • Learn how to efficiently remove skeletal elements and maximize their preservation for study.
  • State-of-the-art documentation of human burials
    • Learn how to collect spatial information on human burials using a total station and GIS.
    • Learn the proper documentation protocols through the use of IRLAB’s dedicated Stratigraphic Unit and Skeletal Context sheets.
    • Become familiar with the criteria for properly photographing skeletal contexts and the methods for developing 3D reconstructions of human burials using photogrammetry.
  • Theoretical approaches and ethical considerations related to the excavation of human remains
    • Become familiar with the different theoretical approaches in bioarchaeology, and understand how they influence the excavation of burial grounds.
    • Understand the different circumstances and reasons for excavating human remains, to inform the excavation strategy and research approaches.

 

ELIGIBILITY & PREREQUISITES

The program accepts a limited number of participants and welcomes applications from professional archaeologists, as well as advanced undergraduate and graduate students in archaeology, anthropology or allied disciplines from any country and institution. Current enrollment in a university is not a requirement. All applications are evaluated equally and acceptance decisions are primarily based on merit.

The only prerequisite of the program is prior archaeological excavation experience. Human osteological knowledge (typically through the completion of an Osteology course) is not required, but extremely advantageous.

Period(s) of Occupation: 19th century

Notes:
This program is aimed at advancing the technical and theoretical understanding of advanced students and professionals. The field experience will teach stratigraphic interpretation of human burials, bioarchaeological excavation techniques, state-of-the-art documentation of human burials (including GIS and photogrammetry), as well as theoretical and ethical considerations related to the excavation of human remains. Learn more about the first field season at: http://htcc.irlabnp.org/

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks

Room and Board Arrangements:
Excavation will take place daily, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, with a short lunch break. All participants will be required to attend a general orientation at the beginning of the program, and daily briefings in the morning prior to starting fieldwork. IRLAB does not provide meals, lodging or transportation as part of this program, and participants are expected to make their own arrangements. Participants who would require to make lodging arrangements may benefit from IRLAB’s negotiated group rates at the Woodspring Suites Columbus Urbancrest in Grove City, OH. Simply indicate your interest in the online application or contact David Hubin, Project Manager, anytime upon admission. Cost: Module 1 or 2 ONLY (2 weeks): $950.00 BOTH modules (4 weeks): $1500.00

Contact Information:


David Hubin

850 Michigan Avenue

Columbus

OH

david.hubin@irlabnp.org

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