The MSU Department of Anthropology offers several fieldschools for both graduate students and undergraduates.
MSU Campus Archaeology Fieldschool
In this course, students actively participate in archaeological research, while learning excavation techniques through hands-on experience, combined with lecture, archaeological laboratory instruction, survey methods, cultural heritage development, public archaeology, and an introduction to archival research.
The MSU Department of Anthropology and the MSU Campus Archaeology Program are offering a 5-week archaeological field school investigating the lives of MSU’s earliest students, faculty, and staff. The course will examine numerous spaces on MSU’s historic campus, including areas associated with College Hall, MSU’s first building.
Students will participate in the survey, identification, and investigation of sites on Michigan State’s historic campus. Students will also gain experience working in Cultural Resource Management situations, as they will participate in the day-to-day operations of the Campus Archaeology Program’s ongoing relationship with MSU Physical Plant.
During the course of excavations, students will take part in the interpretation of the early years of Michigan Agricultural College, and demonstrate the archaeological process to the public. In doing so, they will learn about the cultural heritage of their own University.
Morton Village Fieldschool
The MortonVillage Fieldschool focuses on the Morton Village Site, a late prehistoric village in the central Illinois River Valley near Lewistown, Illinois. This cooperative project with the Illinois State Museum focuses on the A.D. 1300-1400 community associated with a period of social integration and conflict among Oneota and Mississippian groups. Our work builds on prior research at the site, utilize state-of the-art geophysical techniques, and have a strong public outreach component. Students are exposed to survey work as well as excavation.
As in any archaeological field school, students learn through hands-on application of methods. Students are contributing members of the research team, and work closely with the instructor, teaching assistants, and other professional archaeologists and specialists. We are fortunate to have the Dickson Mounds Museum of the Illinois State Museum as partners in this research endeavor. We utilize the museum as a place to learn about the rich archaeological record of the region, and draw on the considerable expertise of the archaeologists at that institution. Our field lab is also housed at the museum.
Aztalan is a large Middle Mississippian site (ca AD 1000-1200) that is located between the modern cities of Milwaukee and Madison. Aztalan is the most famous archaeological site in Wisconsin, and it is considered to be the northernmost palisaded Mississippian village.
Professor Goldstein has been working at and around the Aztalan site for about 35 years. This summer’s field school may be her last one at the site. We will be exploring two separate areas within the main palisade – a gravel knoll that was likely used as a mound or sculpted surface, and an extension of the palisade whose function is unknown. This work should allow us to get a better picture of the overall site structure and function.
Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool
Taking place from May 27th to July 3rd on the campus of Michigan State University and offered by the Department of Anthropology, the 2013 Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) Fieldschool introduces students to the tools and methods required to creatively apply information and computing technologies to cultural heritage materials and questions.
The Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool is a unique experience in which students from a wide variety of departments, programs, and disciplines come together for 5 weeks to collaboratively work on cultural heritage informatics projects. In the process they learn what is required to build applications and digital user experiences that serve the domain of cultural heritage – skills such as programming, web design & development, user experience design, media design, project management, digital storytelling, etc.
Build soundly on the principle of “building as a way of knowing” (or “hacking as a way of knowing” as some call it), the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool embraces the idea that students develop a far better understanding of cultural heritage informatics by actually building tools, applications, and digital user experiences. The added benefit is that by building, students have the opportunity to make a tangible and potentially significant contribution to the cultural heritage community.
2013 CHI Fieldschool Theme
Each year, the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool has a specific theme. This year, the theme will be “Visualization: Time, Space, and Data.” This means that all of the work and projects undertaken by the CHI Fieldschool students will focus (broadly) on visualizing time, space (maps, geospatial, etc), and data.