This listing expired on September 1, 2015. Please contact for any updated information.
Betty's Hope Antigua Archaeological and Bioarchaeological Field School

Location: Antigua and Barbuda

June 20, 2015 to July 18, 2015

Session dates: 
June 20-July 18, 2015

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 27, 2015

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Program Type

Field school

This project is an RPA certified field school


California State University, Chico

Project Director:

Dr. Georgia L. Fox

Project Description

Betty's Hope will be in its ninth year in 2015, and the 2015 field season promises to be an exciting summer as we combine joint excavations at two separate but closely-related locations: a slave village at Betty’s Hope Plantation, and the bioarchaeological excavations of a nearby 18th-century burial ground for British sailors. As a former British colony, these excavations will allow us to see the important links between the sugar plantations and the protection of those interests. Students will have a full excavation experience working at one or both sites, gaining practical hands-on experience in professional field excavation of a slave village at Betty’s Hope and learning current field methodologies in bioarchaeology at the nearby beach site.  For additional information, applicants are encouraged to watch the BBC 4 broadcast on You Tube: Nelson's Hell Hole at:

The New York Times, Nov. 7, 2015: Seeing the Whole of Antigua:

See us on Facebook @ Betty's Hope Archaeological Field School

Our research questions concern multiple lines of inquiry, including: slave life and the African Diaspora, spatial and human dynamics on the landscape, daily life, and the impacts on diet, health, and human existence caught up in the powerful forces of the Atlantic trade. This was fueled by the desire for sugar, a luxury commodity that profoundly affected the island, its peoples, and ecology, and was integral in the Atlantic World of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Field School Activities

Betty’s Hope is an award-winning field school as designated by the American Anthropological Association and the Register of Professional Archaeologists. The field school was developed to provide hands-on professional training in archaeological field work.  Students will be trained in:

  • How to set up and properly record excavation units and features.
  • Use of a total station to take elevations, mapping, and surveying.
  • Drawing features and profiles, and understanding the basic principles of stratigraphy.
  • Field methodology and excavation techniques.
  • Creating accurate and professional field notes.
  • Learning current practices in bioarchaeology.
  • Developing familiarity and knowledge of Antiguan and Caribbean archaeology.
  • Processing and cataloging archaeologically recovered materials.

Field school students will be assigned weekly readings that pertain to Caribbean colonial history and the methodologies of historical archaeology. A spot has just opened up on 5/4/15.  Please contact  Dr. Fox as soon as possible if you are interested, at

Period(s) of Occupation: Historical archaeology, British Colonial, 17th-19th centuries.

Caribbean, bioarchaeology, osteology, historical archaeology, plantations.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No experience required. We welcome students from all academic disciplines, colleges and universities, and in various stages of their academic and professional training (undergraduate, in-between programs, and graduate), who are interested in historical archaeology, bioarchaeology, and anthropology. The program is international in scope, as participants and researchers come from the U.S., Canada, Europe,the Caribbean, Africa, and elsewhere.

Room and Board Arrangements

Weekdays will comprise field work, Monday through Friday.  Students will also have the opportunity to hear evening lectures on Antigua’s prehistory and history. Weekends will be devoted to field trips, exploring the island’s rich geography and history, points of interest, and trips to Antigua's lovely beaches. Participating in the field school will allow students to experience contemporary Caribbean culture and cuisine. Credit and non-credit options are available; both include room and board, insurance, and ground transportation. Accommodations and meals are provided by the field school. Living accommodations will be in comfortable guest houses that are fully furnished and located in the quiet residential area of historic Nelson's Dockyard National Park at English Harbor. The houses are set on a hillside, and are cool and spacious, with adequate workspaces and a great scenic view of the sea. Three delicious meals a day are provided by our own fabulous cook. Everyone will meet at the main house for meals. All meals are varied and well balanced. Breakfast is light - fresh fruit, cereal, and toast; Lunch is a brown bag sandwich affair to be eaten in the field during the week, with a warm lunch being served on weekends; Dinner is a full hot meal. Meals can be supplemented with snacks that are available at local shops. Students are not permitted to cook in the accommodations houses. All students will be expected to assist with kitchen duties on a rotational basis.  If you have dietary restrictions, please contact Dr. Fox.

$4,145 (non-credit); $4,385.00 (4 units of credit)

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
California State University, Chico
Number of credits offered 4


Contact Information
Dr. Georgia Fox, Professor
Department of Anthropology, CSU Chico
(530) 898-5583
(530) 898-6143
Recommended Bibliography: 

Dyde, Brian. 2000. A History of Antigua. New York, MacMillan Education, Ltd.

Mintz, Sydney W. 1985. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York: Penguin Books.

Parker, Matthew. 2011. The Sugar Barons. Walker & Co., New York.

Singleton, Theresa. 1985. Archaeology of Slavery and Plantation Life. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.