Dig into archaeology this summer!
ANTH 345: Field School in Archaeology
May 29 - June 28
Pine Lake Environmental Campus
Get hands-on experience at a real archaeology site! Summer 2019 will be the ninth season for the Pine Lake Archaeological Field School, a collaborative effort of SUNY Oneonta and neighboring Hartwick College. SUNY Oneonta provides most of the equipment for the field school, which is held at Hartwick’s Pine Lake Environmental Campus eight miles away from Oneonta, in West Davenport, NY.
The school offers an intense, hands-on experience that will give you valuable skills for employment and graduate school in archaeology and other fields. Working up to eight hours a day, you’ll learn basic methods in field archaeology, including survey and excavation techniques, mapping, and flotation and laboratory analysis.
You’ll explore in different habitat zones – creek, forest upland, lake – in an area researchers believe was a gathering place for Native American people hundreds of years ago, before the transition from hunting and gathering to plant horticulture and agriculture.
Every season yields new discoveries. Sifting through excavated dirt, students have found 4,000-year-old cooking hearths, fire pits, nutting stones, projectile points (arrows) and other evidence of ancient hunter-gatherer communities. More than 10,000 specific, mapped locations for artifacts have been documented at the site since the school began.
- Elena Gallagher ’17 said she was excited to find a graver, which was used to carve bones. Since graduation, she has worked for several cultural resource management companies on archaeology projects in New York state.
"I came in undeclared and took some anthro classes and then was convinced that’s what I want to do. I’m really interested in different kinds of people, people I’ve never heard of. It’s almost like a puzzle, finding all their old stuff and trying to figure out who they were.”
Field school students learn skills that can be applied to all kinds of disciplines. Many are anthropology majors, but the program is open to all and often attracts students studying history, geoscience, biology, geography, chemistry and other fields.
I knew I wanted to do something artistic but I also had an interest in anthropology, so I figured why not just do both at the same time?” said Xavier Neal-Carson, a senior from Albany who’s majoring in anthropology and computer art. “I would love to do something out in the field like this, or maybe something in a museum.
“The thing that really drew me into realizing this is what I wanted to do with my career was finding my first feature. I found a hearth and just started scraping away. I found a little blotch of dark dirt and then it started to expand, expand, expand, and there was a center of really, really dark and then it went out to kind of gray and dissipated a bit and then we found some post molds around it. It’s like hands-on history. You can kind of put yourself where they were, and that’s really awesome.”
Georgiana Patterson ‘15
Within weeks of completing the field school, Georgiana landed a two-month gig as an archaeological field technician for Landmark Archeology Inc. in the Albany area. From there, she worked for a year as an archaeologist in New Mexico.
“Finding my first projectile point was very exciting. When I participated in the field school, I fell in love with it and switched my major that fall to anthropology. This was the turning point as far as helping me decide whether or not this was the career path for me.”
SUNY Oneonta Lecturer Nicole Weigel ’05
Nicole now works as a field assistant for the school.
Tuition (6 credits): $1841.60 tuition and fees (in-state, undergraduate)
Program fee: $504
Housing (optional; students may commute)
Single room: $450 Double room: $400