University of Wyoming Archaeological Fieldschool

This listing expired on April 1, 2018. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Laramie, WY, US

Season: June 10, 2018 to July 18, 2018

Session Dates: June 11 - June 20, 2018 June 25 - July 4, 2018 July 9 - 18, 2018

Application Deadline: March 15, 2018

Deadline Type: Exact date


Discount for AIA members: No

Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

University of Wyoming

Project Director:
Robert L. Kelly

Project Description:

The University of Wyoming Archaeological Fieldschool 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 fieldschool continues the 2014-17 fieldwork and includes surface survey in the foothills along the east side of the Bighorn Mountains (in Butch Cassidy’s Hole-in-the-Wall country), where the student will learn proper field-recording methods, map-reading and use of a GPS (10 days); and excavation of a deep, well-stratified rockshelter on the west side of the Bighorn Mountains north of Ten Sleep, Wyoming where the student will learn precision excavation (20 days).  

We live in remote field camps (in beautiful country). All students must provide their own personal camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc.; the fieldschool 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 (seriously; the survey portion requires all-day hikes in rough, mountainous country) and prepared to eat and live in remote locations away from town, Internet access and cell phone connections.

We teach the fieldschool in three 10-day sessions, separated by two, four-day intervals.  Students are responsible for themselves during those four days. This is a 6-credit, 30-day fieldschool and provides the minimal accepted standard to qualify for entry-level employment on research or Cultural Resource Management projects. Credit from the University of Wyoming fieldschool should be transferrable to any academic institution and fulfill the fieldschool requirement of any CRM company.

We can accept about 12 students for the fieldschool, 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 fieldschool is a good place to discover if a career in archaeology is the right place for you.

Note: we will leave for the first field camp early on June 11 from the Anthropology Building at the University of Wyoming.  Non-UW students should plan to arrive in Laramie no later than June 10. We can assist with locating a place to stay with one of the UW fieldschool students.

Period(s) of Occupation: The rockshelter site that we will excavate covers nearly the entire range of Wyoming's prehistory from about 12,000 years ago to the present.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Students must attend all three sessions.

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No.

Room and Board Arrangements:
See tuition. Project involves camping. Cost: see tuition.

Academic Credit:
6 credits offered by University of Wyoming. Tuition is Please note these are 2017 rates; we don't expect the 2018 rates to be much higher, and will post them when they are available. As in previous years, we hope to offer In-State Resident Tuition rates to out-of-state students. Undergraduate Field School Tuition (in-state rates): $113/credit hour; Graduate tuition: $221/credit hour. Plus fees ($26.87/credit hr, and a flat fee of $147.74). Undergraduate/graduate fees (to cover equipment, food, transportation): $350/credit hour Total cost, 6 credit hours: Undergraduate: $3086.96 (tuition and fees). Graduate: $3734.96.

Contact Information:

Robert L. Kelly

1000 E. University Ave., Dept. of Anthropology





Phone: 307-223-5696

Fax: none

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