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Dig It! The Principles of Archaeology

Curriculum and Objectives:

This four-day instructional seminar will identify and explore the various theoretical and practical aspects of archaeology.  It is designed to give students a broad introduction to basic archaeology and archaeological fieldwork.  This seminar is a “teaching through doing” one, where students will learn archaeological theory through practical application and discussion.

To achieve this, the seminar will expose students to archaeological field survey and excavation; introductory research methods; a basic introduction to G.I.S. and geophysical survey methods; preparation of field notes and documentation; artifact analysis and care; and instruction in other fundamental field skills.  Formal lectures on various aspects of anthropology and archaeology will provide students with a basic background in how archaeologists utilize cultural and material resources in identification and analysis.

Students will have a well-defined schedule of activities; and be responsible for adhering to the schedule and cooperating in all aspects of the field experience.  Daily activities associated with the excavation aspect of this seminar will involve physical activity; therefore, all students should be in good health and temperament.

Work will be evaluated in three areas:
    1. Field skills:  survey, excavation, and documentation.
    2. Written work:  field notes, form preparation, and analysis.
    3. Group interaction:  cooperation and professionalism.

Students will receive either a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grade for the seminar.  To receive a Satisfactory grade, students must prove basic proficiency in the three areas of evaluation.

Seminar Schedule:

Sunday, June 26:
PM:  Arrive. Introductions and informal discussions.
Monday, June 27: 
7:15 – 8:15 AM  Breakfast
9 – 11 AM:  Lecture on archaeology and preparation for field experience.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM:  Lunch
1 PM:  Depart for the Metzger Nature Center in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.
4:30 PM:  Arrive at Nature Center.
6 PM:  Dinner.
7 -- 8 PM:  Lecture on site history and discussion on assignments and field work.

Tuesday, June 28: 
8 AM:  Breakfast.
9 – 11:45 AM:  Fieldwork.
12 PM:  Lunch
1 – 5 PM:  Fieldwork.
6 PM:  Dinner
7 – 8 PM:  Lecture, lab work, and discussion.
Wednesday, June 29: 
8 AM:  Breakfast.
9 – 11 AM:  Artifact cataloguing and analysis.            
12 PM:  Lunch.
1 PM:  Depart Nature Center and return to O.N.U.
4:30 PM:  Arrive at O.N.U.
4:45 – 5:45 PM:  Dinner
6 – 8 PM:  Lecture on Material Culture and discussion.

Thursday, June 30:
7:15 – 8:15:  Breakfast.
9 – 11 AM:  Lecture and discussion on Ohio Prehistory and flint-knapping demonstration.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM:  Lunch.
1 – 4 PM:  Videos and discussion.
4:45 – 5: 45 PM:  Dinner
6 – 8 PM:  Movie and informal discussions.

Friday, July 1:
7:15 – 8:15 AM:  Breakfast.
10 AM:  Seminar end.

Equipment and Supplies:

Since this seminar involves outdoor work in hot, humid weather, students must dress accordingly.  Because bugs, bees, and poisonous plants (ivy, sumac, etc.) exist at the excavation site (not in quantity, but present nonetheless), insect repellents are highly recommended.  Sunscreen is also recommended if you are susceptible to strong ultra-violet rays.  Gloves will be provided, but students may bring their own.  Students absolutely must have adequate footwear (defined as a hard-soled shoe of some sort).  A backpack of personal items is optional.  A notebook and pens or pencils are recommended for note-taking throughout the seminar.

All necessary supplies and material associated with the archaeological excavation, such as trowels, shovels, screens, and other similar tools and supplies are provided.     

What to bring

There are always questions about what to bring to an overnight or week long activity. Here are some suggestions. You will be working in the laboratory. Stable closed toe shoes are required for the laboratory work. You should wear comfortable clothing for these activities. You may want to wear long sleeved shirts. Disposable gloves will be provided. Long hair should be tied back. You will want to bring a small amount of spending money since the university bookstore is usually open. You can bring along some of your favorite snacks although there are vending machines located on campus. A local grocery store and a Rite Aid are available for unplanned essentials. Bring a cell phone or calling card to make long-distance calls, since Ada sometimes has poor reception for cell phones for such carriers as AT&T and Nextel. If you have a camera you may want to bring it. There are picture perfect events all week long. The dorms are lockable and secure so you should be able to bring normal things such as clock radios, small CD players, or alarm clocks. If medication needs to be dispensed, the SHI director will make appropriate arrangements.

List of essentials aside from normal everyday apparel.

  • Alarm clock
  • Soap, comb/brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, etc.
  • Insect repellent – DEET-based works best, Off Brand, pump instead of aerosol
  • Ball Cap
  • Extra socks
  • A pair of long jeans or slacks
  • Shorts, shirts or blouses
  • One nice outfit (khaki slacks/polo shirt) for presentation
  • Sweatshirt/jacket (classrooms are air conditioned and can be cool)
  • T-shirts
  • Rain gear
  • Comfortable shoes, closed toed shoes, shoes to be worn in the gym
  • Swimwear, Beach towel
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Sandals
  • Flashlight with new batteries
  • If you anticipate washing clothes, bring along a small container of clothes detergent and quarters for the washing machines
  • Single extra long bedsheets, pillow, and blanket

What you do NOT have to bring?
Towels are provided. There will be snacks and bottled water provided during the day and evening. Do not bring candles or incense, TV, dart board, draperies, drum set, electric guitars, electric blankets, fireworks, fish net wall hangings, flags, firearms, halogen lamps, hot plates, microwave ovens, pets such as snakes, spiders, lizards, cats, dogs, birds and fish, sunlamps, heat lamps and space heaters, toaster ovens, valuables, water beds, and weights.