This listing expired on June 1, 2018. Please contact for any updated information.
NOMAD Science

Location: Soyo, Mongolia

June 17, 2018 to August 22, 2018

Session dates: 
Session I: Anti-looting, June 17 - July 8, 2018 Session II: Soyo Archaeology, July 9-30, 2018 Session III: Exploratory Taiga Pilot, August 1-22, 2018

Application Deadline: 
Monday, April 30, 2018

Deadline Type: 

Flyer: PDF icon julia_poster.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



NOMAD Science, BioRegions International, National Museum of Mongolia

Project Director:

Dr. Julia Clark and Dr. J. Bayarsaikhan

Project Description

Do you want to come to Mongolia with us? NOMAD Science is now assembling an international, interdisciplinary team to conduct fieldwork in northern Mongolia during the summer of 2018. No previous experience necessary. While many of our participants are working towards an archaeology degree, team members come from a variety of disciplines, educational backgrounds, generations, nationalities, etc. Whether this is a requirement for your bachelors/masters/PhD program, or you just want a once-in-a-lifetime experience, check out our 2018 program choices below.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, with a final due date on April 30th, 2018. Program costs are listed below for each session. For support in applying for external funding, please contact us. Sign up for more than one session, and receive 15% off your total cost. This fee covers all costs for the duration of the project for food, transportation, permits, and equipment. This does not include international travel to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, travel insurance, or personal camping gear. If you'd like to be a part of our 2018 team, you can access the application HERE

Below you will see a short description for each of the three sessions that make up NOMAD Science in 2018.

Session I: Anti-looting, June 17-July 8


Description: The looting of archaeological sites has become a big problem in northern Mongolia. During this session, team members will work with local communities to monitor, salvage, and prevent future looting in the region using a combination of traditional archaeological methods, community outreach, drone imagery, and a specialized app designed by digital archaeologist, and Nomad Science staff member, Nicholas Case in 2017. Nomad Science will collaborate with the National Museum of Mongolia and BioRegions International during this session to travel around to a variety of locations in the Darkhad Depression in northern Mongolia.  MORE INFO HERE

Dates:June 17 – July 8, 2018

Fee: $2,800  (For support in applying for external funding, please contact us.)


Session II: Soyo Archaeology, July 9 - July 30


Description: Previous archaeological investigation at Soyo has revealed a complex, unique and important archaeological site that dates to at least 10,000 years before present. During this session, team members will continue to investigate the site through a variety of methods, including traditional archaeological excavation and survey, remote sensing (including drone mapping), artifact analysis, ethnographic interviews, and more. This session has an optional additional Wilderness First Responder Certification. The team will camp at our established campsite at Soyo that includes kitchen and laboratory facilities. MORE INFO HERE

Dates: July 9 – 30

Fee:  $2,800   (Field Science Course Only)

         $3,000   (Field Science Course + Wilderness First Responder Certification)

         (For support in applying for external funding, please contact us.)


Session III: Exploratory Taiga Pilot Project, August 1 - 22


The goal of our research in this part of Mongolia has always been to understand the transition from a purely hunting and gathering economy to one that included the herding of domesticated animals. During this session, team members will travel to the Taiga on an exploratory mission to understand the role of the high elevation taiga during these transitions. To date, no such investigations have been conducted by our team, in part because of the logistical challenges of this work. Team members must be willing to travel by horseback and foot for extended periods of time, and camp in very remote and primitive campsites in unpredictable weather conditions. MORE INFO HERE

Dates: August 1-22, 2018

Fee: $3,500   (For support in applying for external funding, please contact us.)


Period(s) of Occupation: Neolithic-Bronze Age

Public outreach, citizen science, drones, GIS, Survey archaeology, excavation, Pilot projects, horseback survey, taiga, reindeer herders, digital archaeology, conservation

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 3 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
None - our participants are archaeology students at all levels, life-long-learners, and other interested travelers

Room and Board Arrangements

Camping - participants responsible for tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad. Three meals a day provided by project. Hired cook prepares all meals for Session I and II. Session III participants will take turns cooking. Water can be purified using a pump/tablets/etc. from abundant local streams, rivers and lakes. 


Academic Credit

Number of credits offered None directly. Have worked with students' home institutions for independent study credits successfully on numerous occasions. Contact us for more information if desired.


Contact Information
Julia Clark
PO Box 394
Recommended Bibliography: 

Clark, Julia K. (2014) Modeling Late Prehistoric and Early Historic Pastoral Adaptation in Northern Mongolia's Darkhad Depression

Clark, Julia and Crabtree, Stefani (2015) Examining Social Adaptations in a Volatile Landscape in Northern Mongolia via the Agent-Based Model Ger Grouper. Special Issue “Agent-Based Modelling and Landscape Change”, Land 4:157-181.

Fitzhugh, William, editor (2005) The Deer Stone Project: Anthropological Studies in Mongolia 2002-2004. Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Hanks, Bryan K. (2010) Archaeology of the Eurasian Steppes and Mongolia. Annual Review of Anthropology 39:469-486.

Honeychurch, William, Joshua Wright, and Chuang Amartuvshin (2007) A Nested Approach to Survey in the Egiin Gol Valley, Mongolia. Journal of Field Archaeology 32:369-383.

Houle, Jean-Luc (2009) ‘Socially Integrative Facilities’ and the Emergence of Societal Complexity on the Mongolian Steppe. In Monuments, Metals and Mobility: Trajectories of Complexity in the Late Prehistory of the Eurasian Steppe, edited by B. K. Hanks and K. M. Linduff, pp. 358-377. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Janz, Lisa (2012) Chronology of Post-Glacial Settlement in the Gobi Desert and the Neolithization of Arid Mongolia and China. Unpublished PhD, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona.

Wright, Joshua (2006) The Adoption of Pastoralism in Northeast Asia: Monumental Transformation in the Egiin Gol Valley, Mongolia. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Harvard University.