Summer Archaeological Field School in Thailand

This listing expired on February 15, 2019. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Lopburi City, TH

Season: June 5, 2019 to July 3, 2019

Session Dates: Although the field school begins on June 5th, with most students arriving late that night, students will need to depart the US on June 4th to arrive at night on June 5th.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2019

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

NC State University

Project Director:
Dr. Troy Case, NC State University, Dr. Thanik Lertcharnrit, Silpakorn University, and Dr. Scott Burnett, Eckerd College

Project Description:

This archaeological field school is part of an NC State University Study Abroad program. Students participating in the program will learn about the prehistory of Thailand while excavating, cleaning, and analyzing archaeological and skeletal materials from the site of Promtin Tai (ca. 500 BC to AD 800). The primary objective of the fieldwork involves excavation of an Iron Age cemetery at the site, and bioarchaeological analysis of the burials found there. During our last field season, we encountered several skeletons, many of which will be removed during the upcoming field season.

The site is located on the grounds of a Buddhist temple near a small rural village in Lopburi province. We are firmly in the Iron Age layers of the site now (500 BC – AD 500) and are in the process of removing burials from the cemetery area dating to this period. Local villagers come visit the site on some days to view our progress, and we are occasionally invited to participate in special temple ceremonies if they occur on days we are in the field. Last season the villagers and temple held a blessing ceremony and celebration for us on the day we finished up the excavation.

As part of the study abroad program, students will have the opportunity to visit magnificent Buddhist temples in Bangkok and to spend two days touring the ancient city of Sukhothai, a UNESCO World Heritage site in northwest Thailand.

The cost of the program is $4250 which covers tuition for six credits, administrative fee, housing, transportation within Thailand, most meals, and entry fees to parks and temples during program excursions. Students will need to purchase flights to Bangkok (ca. $1000 – $1500) and bring enough money for dinners, incidentals, souvenirs, and etc (probably $500 or so). No visa will be needed for this trip if you are an American citizen.

We are doing rolling admissions, which means that the program will close once we have received the maximum number of paid participants (which is 15).  You can indicate your interest by beginning an application.  This will also make sure you receive e-mails with any updates about the program. If you have questions before you apply, please contact Dr. Troy Case at:    

Period(s) of Occupation: Iron Age and Early Historic Period

This field school should be of particular interest to students wishing to learn more about bioarchaeology. Students will have an opportunity to excavate human skeletons and to learn how to clean and prepare these skeletons for analysis, in addition to learning basic excavation and cataloging of artifacts.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Entire Duration of Field School

Minimum Age: 20

Experience Required: Ability to identify and side most human bones preferred but not required.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will spend the first two nights in Bangkok at a small hotel in the Siam Square district. We will spend the first morning on orientation, acquiring cell phones, etc. The second morning we will tour the Grand Palace and the Wat Pho temple. The remainder of the stay, excluding nights spent away on excursions, we will stay at the Lopbrui Inn in Lopburi City, about two hours north of Bangkok. The Lopburi inn is about 12 miles (20 km) from the village of Promtin Tai where we will be excavating. During the excursion to Sukhothai in northwest Thailand, we will stay at a local guesthouse or hotel. Most of the hotels provide breakfast. Lunches will be provided at the site on excavation days. Most dinners will be on your own. Food is quite inexpensive in Thailand, so a meal can easily be had for $1-$3. Cost: $4250 program cost $1000 - 1500 for flight $300 - $500 for food, incidentals, souvenirs $35 - excavation equipment (trowel, etc.) Total estimated cost: $5585-$6285 Note that students eligible for financial aid may be able to obtain federal loans to help cover costs.

Academic Credit:
ANT 389 Fundamentals of Archaeological Research - 3 credits ANT 427 Bioarchaeological Fieldwork - 3 credits credits offered by NC State University. Tuition is $4250 - included in total program fee.

Contact Information:

Troy Case

Campus Box 8107





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