The UWF Archaeology program regularly has two field schools each summer term: terrestrial and maritime (shipwreck). An option of combining maritime and terrestrial field schools is also available. These field methods courses are the “heart” of the archaeology program and are well respected around the country for the quality of instruction, length of time students spent actually excavating, and the high quality archaeology sites at which the field schools are conducted. Field schools are almost always conducted in the Pensacola vicinity so students can return home each night. Occasionally we offer a field school away from Pensacola, and when this occurs, food and lodging accommodations are arranged.
The prerequisite for the archaeological field schools is a core archaeology course at the junior level, such as ANT 3100 Principles of Archaeology. This course is offered in the Spring term at UWF, but a similar course taken at other institutions can meet this requirement. Students from other universities often take our archaeological field school and apply the academic credit to their home degree plans.
The archaeology field methods courses are where students learn the basic skills of archaeological excavation and field laboratory methods. Archaeologists are on site full time to teach and archeology graduate students, who are learning how to supervise and direct fieldwork for their Master’s degree, assist them. Institute experienced support personnel are often part of the field school operations.
Whether terrestrial or maritime, our field schools teach the use of survey instruments, layout and use of grids, use of hand tools, excavation of units and features, documentation with scale drawings and imaging, field note taking, and site mapping. Most of our field schools have a field laboratory either on-site or nearby where recovered material is organized, tracked, crosschecked, and images are cataloged and duplicated. Care and maintenance of equipment is also taught and performed.
Field school classes meet Monday through Friday 8 AM to 4 PM from early May to early August. Students often work in the field lab on a rotating basis as needed to keep up with the material generated from the field. See more on the field schools on the Anthropology site.