Monticello-University of Virginia Archaeological Field School
Archaeology of Chesapeake Slavery and Landscape Anthropology 5589 6 credits
Six week session: June 6 - July 15, 2016 Monticello's Department of Archaeology and the University of Virginia are pleased to offer a six-week archaeological field school at Monticello from June 6 through July 15, 2016. The program offers six credits to undergraduate and graduate students through the University of Virginia's College of Arts and Sciences. The Monticello-UVA Field School accepts applications from undergraduate students as well as postgraduates. A current or previous affiliation with UVA is not required to attend the field school.
Monticello will offer successful applicants half-tuition scholarships. Since space is limited to twelve students, please be sure to have all application materials submitted by deadline: April 18, 2016.
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:
Curator, Zooarchaeological Collections Department of Archaeological Research Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
dendrochronology and ecology
Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences
Director and Research Professor, Archaeological Research Laboratory University of Tennessee
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 2016. 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 good physical condition and enjoy sustained, strenuous teamwork.
Tuition and Scholarships
Tuition rates are set by the University of Virginia and vary by residency status (see this link for details: http://www.virginia.edu/summer/fees.html). For Virginia residents, total field-school tuition for 6 credits is $2,094 for undergraduates and $2,352 for graduate students. For non-residents, tuition is $7,482 for undergraduates and $4,764 for graduate students. All students accepted into the field school will receive scholarships from Monticello worth half the tuition charge. The foregoing rates are for 2015. Rates for 2016 will be posted when they are available from the University of Virginia.
Room and Board
Air conditioned housingat the University of Virginia is available to Students at an estimated cost of $41 per night or roughly $287 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.
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, 2016. You can email your application to firstname.lastname@example.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+.
Introduction to Monticello and the Chesapeake. Sediments, stratigraphy, and soils. Field and laboratory protocols. Artifacts and chronology. Landscape archaeology. Basic excavation and recording procedures
Archaeological survey. Models of site discovery. Geodesy and GPS. Introduction to intra-site mapping and spatial analysis.
Dietary change in the Colonial Chesapeake: zooarchaeological and macrobotonical evidence. Forest history from dendrochronology and dendroecology.
Geoarchaeology: More on soils and sediments. Understanding colluvial and alluvial deposits. Dating sediments. Environmental reconstruction from phytoliths and pollen.
Site structure and the use of space. Recovery and analysis of intrasite spatial data.
Reconstructing linked ecological and social dynamics from archaeological evidence.