University of Wyoming Archaeological Field School 2020

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

Location: Laramie

Season: June 15, 2020 to July 22, 2020

Session Dates: Session 1: June 15 to 24; Session 2: June 29 to July 8; Session 3: July 13 to 22

Application Deadline: April 15, 2020

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

University of Wyoming

Project Director:
Todd Surovell

Project Description:

The University of Wyoming Archaeological Field school provides professional-level training in field research methods at two Wyoming locations. Learn to recognize and identify chipped stone tools and debris, ceramic sherds, faunal remains, fire-cracked rock, stone circles and fire hearths; collect sediment, radiocarbon, and flotation samples; read stratigraphic profiles; excavate; record data; read maps; use a GPS; conduct surface survey; fill out site forms — all the basics of archaeological fieldwork. You will learn how to use field technology, such as total stations. This year’s field school continues the 2014-19 fieldwork at the La Prele Mammoth site in Converse County, Wyoming where students will learn careful excavation methods, screening, and mapping with a total station. The first session will take place near Laramie where students will work on both prehistoric and historic archaeology associated with artesian springs. There, students will learn survey, mapping, augering, and test excavation methods. In 2020 field season, we will have our first season at Carbon City, the location of Wyoming’s first coal mining town along former route of Union Pacific Railroad. The town was founded in 1868 and abandoned in the early 20th century. The field school includes a range of experiences – and at beautiful Wyoming locations.

Period(s) of Occupation: Paleoindian to historic

All students will live in a field camp, and must provide their own basic camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc.; the field school provides all kitchen and excavation gear). All students will assist in regular camp chores (cooking, cleaning up, etc.). The work is physically demanding, and takes place regardless of Wyoming's fickle weather (which can include rain, snow and/or freezing temperatures even in summer). Students should be in good physical shape, ready to hike steep mountains under arid conditions at elevations over 5280 feet, and prepared to eat and live in remote locations away from town, Internet access and cell phone connections. We teach the field school in three 10-day sessions, separated by two, four-day intervals. Students are responsible for themselves during those four days. A 6-credit, 30-day field school is the minimal accepted standard to qualify for entry-level employment on research or Cultural Resource Management projects. Credit from the University of Wyoming field school should be transferable to any academic institution and fulfill the field school requirement of any CRM company. We can accept about 12 students for the field school, and welcome applications from students at any educational level or from any background. We do, however, give preference to those students majoring in anthropology, who seek a career in archaeology and who have taken at least one archaeology course. The field school is a good place to discover if a career in archaeology is the right place for you.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: All three sessions

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No prior field experience required. Introductory course in archaeology preferred.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Total cost is approximately $3200

Academic Credit:
6 credits

Contact Information:

Todd Surovell

Anthropology, Dept 3431, 1000 East University Ave




United States

Phone: (307) 314-2733

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