This listing expired on August 1, 2015. Please contact for any updated information.
Eastern Pequot Archaeological Field School

Location: North Stonington, Connecticut, United States

June 30, 2015 to July 31, 2015

Session dates: 
June 30 - July 31, 2015

Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 3, 2015

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: PDF icon eastern_pequot_archaeological_field_school_flyer_2015.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



University of Massachusetts, Boston and Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation

Project Director:

Dr. Stephen Silliman, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Project Description

The Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, is offering a five-week, six-credit archaeological field course on the Eastern Pequot reservation, located in southeastern Connecticut. In close collaboration with the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, the university field school will undertake its tenth field season of intensive study of tribal lands to identify and document archaeological sites, particularly those dating to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries in an effort to study indigenous responses to colonialism. The Eastern Pequot community has occupied this historic reservation since 1683. Field school students will receive training in techniques such as map-making, subsurface surveying, excavation, artifact processing, and material culture identification and will be exposed to considerations of ethics, heritage, cultural representation, community work, and politics in contemporary archaeology. Students will have the unique opportunity to participate in a collaborative and engaged archaeology alongside Native American leaders, elders, adults, and youth in a joint effort to recover aspects of Pequot history in southern New England. The course fee for the undergraduate and graduate sections covers six credit hours, instruction, field activities, visits to museums and nearby projects, housing, food, and travel between the field house and reservation. The fee does NOT cover basic student supplies, required health insurance, or transportation to/from the field school.

Obtain the application from the project website or Project Director in January 2015. Application deadline is April 3, 2015, but early application is recommended since spaces are competitive and tend to fill quickly. Application review will begin before the deadline and will continue weekly until slots are filled. You may contact the Project Director after the deadline to see if any spaces remain.

Period(s) of Occupation: Contact / Historic / Colonial

Collaborative, community-engaged archaeological excavation and mapping project with Native American community in New England, focused on (1) Indigenous responses to colonialism and reservation life in the 17th through 19th centuries and (2) the ethics and politics of archaeology and heritage.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full five weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
Archaeology coursework preferred, but not necessary

Room and Board Arrangements

Field school crew will share a residential house at Connecticut College in New London, approximately 12 miles from the project area. The house contains apartment units with 1-4 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, and living room. Some, if not all, students will have their own bedroom. Dinner is prepared communally. Field school will be in session for all days during the time span noted with a typical schedule of five days per week in session and two days per week off (during which times students may return home, if local, or explore the area). The course will include some occasional evening activities. The college and nearby area offer many amenities and entertainment options. See application for more details.

Included in field school fees

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
University of Massachusetts Boston
Number of credits offered 6
$2,795 (ug) / $3,265 (g)


Contact Information
Stephen W. Silliman
Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd
United States
Recommended Bibliography: 

Stephen W. Silliman, editor (2008) Collaborating at the Trowel's Edge: Teaching and Learning in Indigenous Archaeology. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Stephen W. Silliman (2009) “Change and continuity, practice and memory: Native American persistence in colonial New England.” American Antiquity 74(2):211-230.

Stephen W. Silliman and Thomas A. Witt (2010) “The complexities of consumption: Eastern Pequot cultural economics in 18th-century New England.” Historical Archaeology 44(4):46-68.

Hunter, Ryan, Stephen W. Silliman, and David B. Landon (2014) "Shellfish collection and community connections: Gender and sustenance in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Native New England." American Antiquity  79(3):712-729.