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Jewish and Chinese Life in 19th Century Nevada: The Aurora Neighborhoods Project

Location: Aurora, Nevada, United States

July 15, 2013 to August 15, 2013

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Deadline Type: 

Flyer: PDF icon aurora_field_school_2013.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



University of Nevada Reno

Project Director:

Carolyn L. White

Project Description

The lives of Jewish and Chinese residents of one of the frontier west’s largest towns, Aurora, Nevada, are our focus this year for the Aurora neighborhoods project. Students will receive intensive training in archaeological excavation and recording techniques, including survey and excavation, material culture analysis, spatial analysis of artifacts, GPS, field mapping, stratigraphic drawing, artifact illustration, and archival research. 

The historical archaeology field school is run by the Unviersity of Nevada Reno. This will be the second season investigating the "biggest gone town in the West." Students will be part of a field project that will study lives of contrasting ethnic groups that were important populations meteoric rise and collapse of this mining town. Students will have the opportunity to particpate in all phaseis of fieldwrok from survey to detailed excavation. Students will also conduct research using prijmary documentary materials and engage in laborataroy analysis at the University of Nevada Historical Archaeology Lab.

The field school will take place over five weeks in July and August 2013. The field school will be a combination of lecture and hands-on instruction. Students will visit nearby local cultural and natural sites to obtain a broader understanding of the site in its context. 

The UNR field school is designed for students in American Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, History, and Museum Studies.  Prior experience or course work is not required, but students should be prepared for rugged conditions and strenuous physical work.

A total of six credit hours are offered through the University of Nevada, Reno. The field school fee of $2,500 covers tuition, all food in the field, field and laboratory equipment, transportation to and from the field site, and all field trip costs. Housing in Reno is available at a reduced cost through the university for the non field days for out of town students. 

We have a limited number of scholarships available to defray the costs of the program. These will be distributed on a rolling basis, so apply early!


Period(s) of Occupation: Historic

Unearth the lives of Jewish and Chinese residents of one of the biggest mining towns in the West.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: full term

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No experience required.

Room and Board Arrangements

While in the field, we will be camping and students must bring their own camping gear (a list will be provided of needed items). All food will be provided while in the field. For out of town students, accomodations in Reno can be arranged for an additional fee.


Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
University of Nevada, Reno
Number of credits offered 6
2,500; scholarships available!


Contact Information
Carolyn White
Department of Anthropology