Field Schools

Want to get in the dirt and try your hand at archaeology? Field schools are an excellent way to experience archaeology in action and find out if it's the career path for you! Most field schools take place in the summer and are administered by universities as part of a degree requirement; students from other schools can often participate for credit hours. Many field schools also offer opportunities for the non-student public to participate. Below is a list of field schools taking place in North Carolina. Please contact the university for information about volunteering, visiting or joining a field school.

If your field school is not listed and takes place in North Carolina, let us know! Email with the date, location, contact, and website and we'll add it.

2019 Summer Field Schools


Appalachian State University Archaeological Field School

Dates: June 2019

Location: Ashe County, North Carolina

Geophysical survey and targeted excavations will focus on a presumed Woodland settlement and associated quarry originally identified during the 1970s New River Survey Project, which located a cluster of Native American sites along the South Fork of the New River in Ashe County.

Contact Dr. Alice Wright, Department of Anthropology, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.

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East Carolina University Field School at Brunswick Town - Fort Anderson

Dates: May 13 - June 16, 2019

Location: Winnabow, North Carolina

Brunswick Town, founded in 1729, was North Carolina's major port in the eighteenth century until it was burned by the British during the Revolutionary War. Excavations this season will focus on the residential area in the Colonial Town.

Contact Dr. Charles Ewen, Department of Anthropology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.

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UNC-Chapel Hill Siouan Project Field School at the Wall Site

Dates: May 13 - June 20, 2019

Location: Hillsborough, North Carolina

The Wall site, located along the Eno River in present-day Hillsborough, is a Native American fortified town occupied during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries by ancestors of the Shakori and Eno tribes, who were local to the Chapel Hill area. Excavations will focus on a dense trash midden located along the site’s southern edge that contains large quantities of discarded pottery vessels and well-preserved food remains, represented by animal bones and charred plant materials. Previously unexcavated domestic areas within the village will also be sampled.

Contact Dr. Heather Lapham, Research Laboratories of Archaeology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

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UNC-W Archaeological Field School in the Cape Fear Region

Dates: May 22 - June 25, 2019

Location: Wilmington, North Carolina

Surviving chimney falls and other remains of slave cabins and sharecropper residences have been located on local, privately-owned land that once belonged to an antebellum rice and naval stores plantation.  Excavation of the first of these cabins began during the 2018 field season; prior to that, no slave cabin was excavated at any rice plantation along the Lower Cape Fear River, although some plantation houses and outbuildings have been investigated.  The goal of this field season will be to map as many of the surviving cabin remains as possible, and excavate some of the slave cabins.

Contact Dr. Eleanora Reber, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, NC.

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Warren Wilson College Field School at The Berry Site

Dates: June 3 - 28, 2019

Location: near Morganton, North Carolina

Help discover one of the most important sixteenth-century colonial forts in the southeast—Fort San Juan, built in western North Carolina at the Native American town of Joara in January 1567 and destroyed 18 months later in May 1568. Over the past 17 years, archaeologists at the Berry site have discovered five burned Spanish buildings, the moat surrounding the garrison, and an earthen mound associated with the Native settlement. This summer excavations will focus on the fort and adjacent village to uncover more clues about Spanish and Native lifeways at the Berry site.

Contact Dr. David Moore, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC.

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