Canada Heads Smashed in Buffalo Jump

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This listing expired on June 5, 2022. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: PF62+W4 Stowe, AB, Canada

Season: May 9, 2022 to June 27, 2022

Application Deadline: May 6, 2022

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Center for Field Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Canada, and Royal Alberta Museum, Canada

Project Director:
Dr. Shawn Bubel, University of Lethbridge, Dr. Kevin McGeough, University of Lethbridge, and Bob Dawe, Royal Alberta Museum

Project Description:

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is located in the Porcupine Hills of southwestern Alberta, Canada. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has an interpretive center run by mostly Blackfoot staff that has hosted over two million visitors since 1987. The site is an elaborate complex spread across the landscape where, for at least the past 5,500 years, hunters used the natural landscape to drive herds of bison off cliff edges and then process the animals in the vicinity. It is one of the most important locations of Indigenous heritage.

Our work at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump aims to clarify chronological and contextual issues related to the earliest occupation phases at the site, evaluate the relationships between different parts of the site, and identify earlier uses than those currently well-documented. Through this work, students will learn about the site and develop key skills necessary in North American archaeology. These elements of the project will involve targeted testing and excavations in three areas of the site and supplemental testing, surveying, and mapping in three other areas. During the field school students will have an opportunity to excavate at the site and process the archaeological materials they unearth in the laboratory.

Period(s) of Occupation: Pre Contact Period

Tuition is $3,360

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full session

Minimum Age: 18 years old

Experience Required: There are no prerequisites for participation in this field school. Students will receive hands-on training in archaeological field work so will spend most of their time learning how to excavate and record their finds. Students must come equipped with sufficient excitement and adequate understanding that the archaeological endeavor requires real, hard work in a camp environment. Some days will be hot, temperatures can reach 30⁰C (85⁰F) and other days will be cold and rainy. It may even snow. Students will be taught how to use a variety of excavation tools, from shovels and wheelbarrows, to trowels, brushes, and sieves, and are expected to use all of them. Archaeology involves physical work and exposure to the elements, thus, requires a measure of acceptance that this will not be the typical university learning environment. Students will get dirty, sweaty, tired, and must work closely with others. We hope that the thrill of discovering archaeological remains will outweigh the stiff muscles and exhausting days.

Room and Board Arrangements:

Academic Credit:
8 Semester Credit Units (Equivalent to 12 Quarter Units) through our School of Record: Iowa Wesleyan University

Contact Information:

CFS Admissions

Los Angeles



United States

Phone: 5625840761

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