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WCSU Summer Field School in Archaeology

Location: Danbury, Connecticut, United States

May 22, 2017 to June 22, 2017

Application Deadline: 
Friday, May 12, 2017

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Western Connecticut State University

Project Director:

Drs. Cosimo Sgarlata and Bethany Morrison of Western Connecticut State University with Zac Singer, ABD at UCONN.

Project Description

Be a part of (pre)history.  Our field school this summer will be excavating one of the oldest archaeological sites in Connecticut.  Learn about Paleoindian culture, ancient environments, and archaeological techniques.  Best of all, earn six credits while spending the summer session outside!

The 5-week, 6-credit WSCU field school will include training in New England Pre-Contact history, archaeological survey and excavation techniques, laboratory methods, conservation procedures, artifact cataloguing and analysis, and methods and techniques in geoarchaeology, archaeobotany, ground penetrating radar survey, and UAV drone survey. Students will have a unique opportunity to work on a collaborative research project alongside professional and volunteer archaeologists, geologists, and ecologists. At the conclusion of the field season, qualified students may receive recommendations for employment on archaeology field crews.

The Templeton Site was originally excavated by Roger Moeller with the assistance of the American Indian Archaeological Institute in 1977.  Over 7,400 Paleoindian artifacts, including a fluted point and two miniature fluted points were recovered.  Radiocarbon dating revealed the site to be 10,119 years old.  This is the second oldest date for any site in Connecticut, but based on the artifacts recovered it is most likely that Templeton is actually the oldest documented site in the State.  Zachary Singer, a PhD candidate from the University of Connecticut, reopened the site in the summer of 2016, and expanded on the previous research locating at least two activity areas outside of Moeller’s excavation block that contain high densities of Paleoindian artifacts.  The summer 2017 field school at Western Connecticut State University will continue the project, assisting Zachary Singer to open up these new Paleoindian activity areas.  The research is important because it will potentially recover extensive amounts of new Paleoindian material, and if lucky more carbon for additional dating.  The excavation will include expert analysis from many disciplines including ground penetrating radar, soil analysis, paleo-botany, use-wear analysis, Geographical Information Systems and, of course, Paleoindian archaeology. 

Students will meet at the WCSU midtown campus Monday through Thursday, 8:00am to 4:00pm.  Transportation to and from the site will be provided.  Equipment will be provided.  Students should bring appropriate clothing, boots, bug spray, water, and lunch.

Period(s) of Occupation: Paleoindian

Excavate a Paleoindian site, meet state and local archaeologists, learn a variety of methods, sleep in a bed each night.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
Prerequisite of Introduction to Cultural Anthropology or permission of instructor.

Room and Board Arrangements

Housing is available on our Westside campus.  Dormitory room with small kitchen.  No dining services available.


Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Western Connecticut State University
Number of credits offered 6 semester credits
approximately $475 per credit


Contact Information
Bethany Morrison
WCSU, Social Sciences, 181 White St.