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Historical Archaeology Field School

Location: St. Mary's City, Maryland, United States

May 28, 2013 to August 3, 2013

Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 26, 2013

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Historic St. Mary's City & St. Mary's College of Maryland

Project Director:

Tim Riordan, Ph.D.

Project Description

Field School in Historical Archaeology at Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC) is an intensive, 10-week experience in Colonial archaeology. The first week includes lectures on history, archaeological methods and material culture studies. Students learn artifact identification by working with one of the best archaeological collections of 17th-century, Colonial material in the country. During the following weeks, students participate in excavation, recording, and analysis. Guest scholars speak on the history and architecture of the Chesapeake region. Field trips to nearby archaeological sites in Maryland and Virginia are planned. Students will also have the rare opportunity to learn about and help sail the MARYLAND DOVE, a replica of a 17th‑century, square‑rigged tobacco ship.

HSMC operates Field School in association with St. Mary’s College of Maryland, announces its 2013 field school in historical archaeology. HSMC is a state‑supported, outdoor museum located at the site of Maryland’s first capital (1634-1694). 

The goal of this summer’s excavations is to better understand the yards and structures around the Calvert House. Built in the first decade of Maryland’s settlement by Leonard Calvert, the first Governor, it served as the statehouse of the Province until 1676. Previous testing in the back yard revealed the presence of numerous fences, borrow pits, several outbuildings and the ditch of a 1645 fort. Excavations will seek to better define the fences, identify outbuildings, and explore selected features to aid in dating the development of this landscape.

The HSMC field school is designed for students in American Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, History, and Museum Studies. Students may register for either Anthropology or History credits. Prior experience or course work is not required. The ability to engage in active physical labor is essential. A total of eight (8) credit hours are offered through St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a state honors college dedicated to the Liberal Arts. The program costs $1,560 which covers tuition. There is a $60 fee to cover the cost of the major field trips. Housing is available at a reduced cost through the college. Transportation, food and entertainment are the responsibility of the student. HSMC is located two hours south of Washington, D.C. in Southern Maryland.

To apply to the 2013 HSMC Archaeology Field School, send an email or a letter stating your interest in the course and listing any relevant classes, experience, or special skills. Include the email addresses of two academic references.  Please list a phone number and address both at school and at home where you can be reached after the semester is over.  Housing is limited so apply early.  

Period(s) of Occupation: Colonial America

Learn field techniques at one of the nation's best-preserved colonial archaeology sites.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 10 Weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Housing is available at a reduced cost through St. Mary's College of Maryland. 

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
St. Mary's College of Maryland
Number of credits offered 8


Contact Information
Tim Riordan, Ph.D.
HSMC, P.O. Box 39
St. Mary's City