Plymouth Colony Archaeological Survey

This listing expired on June 30, 2021. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Plymouth, MA, US

Season: May 26, 2020 to June 26, 2020

Session Dates: In addition to the May 26-June 26, 2020 season we will likely run on a similar schedule in 2021.

Application Deadline: May 1, 2020

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

University of Massachusetts Boston and Plimoth Plantation

Project Director:
Dr. David B. Landon and Dr. Christa Beranek

Project Description:

The approaching 400th anniversary of the founding of the Plymouth Colony (1620-2020) provides a unique opportunity for research and education on the early colonial history and archaeology of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research at University of Massachusetts Boston, in conjunction with Plimoth Plantation and the Town of Plymouth, has undertaken a series of collaborative archaeological research projects focused on the quatercentenary. This project is supported by a multi-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This summer’s focus will be on surface reconnaissance, shallow geophysical remote sensing, and test excavations in downtown Plymouth, with the goal of uncovering additional remains of the 17th-century settlement. Through daily archaeological fieldwork and laboratory analysis students will learn the process of field recording, mapping, excavation, sample collection, and basic artifact analysis in historical archaeology.

Period(s) of Occupation: Historical archaeology, 17th, 18th, and 19th century

The course includes an emphasis on learning how remote sensing techniques and data are applied to site analysis, excavation, and interpretation. The 2020 season will coincide with the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Plymouth Colony so we expect significant public and media attention to the project. Public interpretation and outreach will be important parts of the field program.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Age: 16

Experience Required: No prior experience required.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students are responsible for their own transportation to Plymouth. Local students are welcome to commute to the project, and for people travelling locally we will try to arrange carpools to the site. Students can also choose to camp on the grounds of the Plimoth Plantation museum. The project will supply food ffor the campers and we will also arrange camping gear (tents, sleeping bags, etc.) for students who need to camp but are short on equipment. We will carpool from the museum to the site each day for students who are camping. Cost: There is no additional cost for camping or commuting.

Academic Credit:
Six credits, ANTH 485 (undergraduate) or ANTH 685 (graduate) credits offered by University of Massachusetts Boston. Tuition is Undergraduate fee: $2460. Graduate fee: $3450. The program fee will include instruction, food, and field activities.

Contact Information:

David Landon

Anthropology, UMass Boston




Phone: 617.287.6835

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