This listing expired on July 2, 2015. Please contact for any updated information.
Old Fields Archaeological Field School

Location: South Berwick, Maine, United States

June 22, 2015 to July 10, 2015

Session dates: 
Field school students may sign up for one or more of the three one-week field sessions. Session 1/June 22-26, Session 2/June 29-July 3, Session 3/July 6-10. Daily field school hours are 9:00 to 3:45 PM. Fee: One week only = $175, Two weeks = $325, Three weeks = $475.

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, June 21, 2015

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Flyer: PDF icon oldfldsfs_flyer-2015_final.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Old Berwick Historical Society

Project Director:

Dr. Neill De Paoli

Project Description


For the last five years Dr. Neill De Paoli has led archaeological excavations in the Old Fields neighborhood of South Berwick, Maine on the site of a late 17th and 18th century home, tavern, and garrison. Field school participants have been uncovering evidence of the Spencer-Goodwin home and tavern along with the personal belongings of the occupants and tavern goers. Come join Dr. De Paoli and his crew and help them unravel more of life in the Piscataqua region of southern Maine as it transitioned from the turmoil of the Anglo-Indian wars of the late 1600s and early 1700s to the economic rebirth of the decades leading up to the American Revolution. Students will not only explore the lives of these two families but also those of the five African-American and Indian slaves who were owned by Captain Goodwin. This season participants will excavate three new locations as they search for outbuildings known to be part of the late 17th/18th century Spencer-Goodwin homestead such as a dairy and blacksmith shop along with the elusive garrison.


This experience is a great hands-on opportunity for upper level high school and college students seeking experience in historical archaeology, teachers in need of recertification credits, or history buffs interested in exploring an area with a rich colonial history. Participants will learn basic excavation and recording techniques, laboratory procedures, and the identification of 17th and 18th century European artifacts, as well as investigate archaeological features related to the Spencer and Goodwin homesteads and taverns. The program will include field trips to local 17th and 18th century old Berwick landmarks and weekly films and discussions.


Dr. Neill De Paoli has over thirty-five years of experience as a historical archaeologist, having directed archaeological projects and field schools in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. De Paoli's archaeological investigation of the Spencer-Goodwin site is part of a broader historical and archaeological study of southeastern Maine  during the conflict-riven 1690s-1710s.


The Field School will be held Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 3:45 PM from June 22nd to July 10th. Field school students may sign up for one or more of the three one-week field sessions. Session 1/June 22-26, Session 2/June 29-July 3, Session 3/July 6-10.

Fee: Multiple sessions are discounted: One week only = $175, Two weeks = $325, Three weeks = $475. Participants must be at least 17 years old.



Period(s) of Occupation: late 17th century - c. 1830

Site of Anglo-American homestead, tavern, and garrison occupied from the 1690s through 1794.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: One week.

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Participants are responsible for securing their own housing.  However, Dr. De Paoli can provide a list of local accomodations if needed.

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none
See brochure for details.


Contact Information
Dr. Neill De Paoli
116 Wilson Road
United States
Recommended Bibliography: 

Deetz, James, In Small Things Forgotten. An Archaeology of Early American Life. Anchor Books, New York, 1996.