Monticello-University of Virginia Archaeological Field School


Archaeology of Chesapeake Slavery and Landscape
Anthropology 5589

6 credits

Six week session:
June 2 through July 11, 2014 

Monticello's Department of Archaeology and the University of Virginia are pleased to offer a six-week archaeological field school at Monticello from June 2 through July 11, 2014. The program offers six credits to undergraduate and graduate students through the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Monticello will offer successful applicants half-tuition fellowships. Since space is limited, please be sure to have all application materials submitted by the NEW deadline: April 18, 2014.

Faculty

Field School Director: Fraser D. Neiman, Department of Archaeology, Monticello and Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia.
Instructors: Crystal Ptacek and Beatrix Arendt, Department of Archaeology, Monticello.

Guest Lecturers Include:

Joanne Bowen
zooarchaeology
Curator, Zooarchaeological Collections
Department of Archaeological Research
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Dan Druckenbrod
dendrochronology and ecology
Assistant Professor
Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences 
Rider University

John Jones
palynology
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology,
Washington State University

Dan Hayes
geoarchaeology
Geoarchaeologist
geoarchaeologyconsult.com

William Monaghan
geoarchaeology
Associate Research Scientist and Geoarchaeologist,
Indiana University

Christa Dierksheide
history
Research Historian
Monticello


The Program

The Monticello field school offers a hands-on introduction to basic excavation, recording, and laboratory techniques in archaeology. The course emphasizes a scientific, multidisciplinary approach to doing landscape archaeology.  It also provides the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research into the ecological and social dynamics that unfolded on Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Plantation in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  Technical topics covered include survey and excavation strategies as well as the analytical possibilities for ceramics, faunal remains, plant phytoliths and pollen, deposits and the sediments they contain, soils, and spatial distributions of artifacts across sites and larger landscapes.

Guest lecturers are drawn from a variety of disciplines including archaeology, geology, ecology, paleoethnobotany, zooarchaeology, and history. On-site instruction, lectures, and discussion sessions at Monticello will be complemented by field trips to related sites. Students will attend classes forty hours per week, with the bulk of that time spent working in the field and the lab. Reading assignments, lectures, and discussion sessions will cover both technical and historical issues. 

Research Focus
Our fieldwork addresses changing patterns of land use and settlement on Thomas Jefferson's, Monticello Plantation from c. 1750 to 1860, along with their ecological and social causes and consequences. Toward the end of the 18th century, spurred by shifts in the Atlantic economy, Thomas Jefferson and planters across the Chesapeake region replaced tobacco cultivation with a more diversified agricultural regime, based around wheat. Our research is revealing the enormous implications of this shift for what the landscape looked like and how enslaved African-Americans worked and lived on it. Significant questions remain about the ecological processes that were unleashed, how they were experienced by slaves and slave owners, and the importance of changing slave work routines in explaining social dynamics among enslaved and free people. Field School students will focus on two major efforts during the summer of 2014. The first is the exploration of how the domestic lives of slaves changed during the shift from tobacco to wheat cultivation. The second is devoted to documenting the ecological effects of agricultural change.

Requirements
The course does not assume students have previous archaeological field experience. An introductory course in archaeology will be helpful, but is not mandatory. Archaeological fieldwork is very demanding. Students should be in excellent physical condition and enjoy sustained, strenuous teamwork.

Cost To Participants
Tuition and Scholarship
All students in the field school will receive a Monticello Archaeological Scholarship from the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. This tuition grant covers one half of the normal University of Virginia tuition charge. Taking into account this support, the total cost to students is expected to be about $1,140 for students who are Virginia residents and $2,364 for students who are not Virginia residents. In addition, all students will pay a $108 technology fee.

Room and Board
Air conditioned housing at the University of Virginia is available to Students at an estimated cost of $40 per night or roughly $280 per week for a single room. Meals are available at an additional cost through University dining services, or students can choose to prepare their own meals. Numerous summer sublets are also available in Charlottesville, but students will need to make their own arrangements.

To Apply
Send a one-page cover letter that outlines your interest in archaeology and a CV or resume that contains the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references. The application deadline is April 18, 2014. You can email your application to fieldschool@monticello.org. The snail mail address is: 

Monticello-University of Virginia Archaeological Field School
Monticello
P.O. Box 316
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902

For further information about archaeological research at Monticello, visit our website or visit us on Facebook  or Google+ .

Or contact Fraser Neiman at (434) 984-9812 or fneiman@monticello.org.

 

 

 

Lecture and Seminar Topics

Week
1

Introduction to Monticello and the Chesapeake. Sediments, stratigraphy, and soils. Field and laboratory protocols. Artifacts and chronology. Landscape archaeology. Basic excavation and recording procedures

Week
2

Archaeological survey. Models of site discovery. Geodesy and GPS. Introduction to intra-site mapping and spatial analysis.

Week
3

Zooarchaeology: dietary change in the Colonial Chesapeake. Dendrochronology, dendroecology, and forest history. 

Week
4

Geoarchaeology: understanding colluvial and alluvial deposits. Dating sediments. Environmental reconstruction from phytoliths, pollen.

Week
5

Site structure and the use of space. Recovery and analysis of intrasite spatial data.  

Week
6

Reconstructing linked ecological and social dynamics from archaeological evidence.

Discussion

says

The topics and guest lecturers sound awesome. Applied for this summer's class, fingers crossed!

says

Monticello runs a first-rate field school. The instructors do a great job teaching field method and the program is well-rounded with lectures, field work, lab rotation and visits to other field schools. I highly recommend this field school.
(Student, 2007 Field Season)

says

It's been a pleasure getting a chance to meet the field school students the past few years. I love the fact that we offer this kind of opportunity here, showing that Monticello isn't just a place resting on the laurels of past research but a place of ongoing active scholarship and historical work. There have been some great contributions from field school students to our cookout, too.

says

Monticello's Department of Archaeology has a well-established field school (somewhere in its third decade!) that provides academic credit through the University of Virginia. Each summer 12 students selected through a competitive application process participate in an in-depth study of archaeology as applied to the Monticello plantation. The course includes many lectures (including some by well-known guest lecturers), readings, field trips, and lab training as well as excavation on one or more sites on the plantation.

says

Never to late to be Indiana Jones! Join Monticello’s archaeologists for fun, learning and the experience of a lifetime!

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