1. Education

Archaeology Digs in Australia

Numerous field schools and other planned excavations are held each year in Australia and New Zealand. Here are a few of the recent listings.

Australian Stone Artefacts (Adelaide, South Australia)
22 September - 5 October, 2014. Flinders University. An understanding of stone tools is critical in practicing cultural heritage management and undertaking archaeological research on Indigenous sites in Australia. This short course gives students skills in stone tool identification and analysis in practical laboratory sessions, combined with seminars that cover current research trends and advanced theoretical issues. It is suitable for students wishing to gain expertise in stone tool analysis and for cultural heritage managers requiring these skills in their professional practice. For further information, visit our website

Barunga Community Field School (Northwest Territory)
June 22-28, 2014. Flinders University. Community archaeology has an important focus on community participation, training, capacity building and outreach. At Flinders our Community Archaeology field school is often organised around community requests for assistance to document, record, preserve and manage important aspects of their local heritage. This topic will develop students' abilities to participate in community archaeology work in both an Indigenous and non-Indigenous context. Students will be required to employ skills to an advanced level, which may include those related to site and artefact recording, mapping, collecting oral histories, and ethical interactions with community members, as appropriate to the community archaeology context.

Barunga Rock Art (Northern Territory)
July 7-13, 2014. Flinders University. This fieldschool provides a unique opportunity for students to undertake 'community' archaeology in Australia. Students will have the chance to learn field-based archaeological skills, while at the same time developing other practical and personal skills necessary to conduct archaeological research with Aboriginal communities. In particular, students will focus on the recording of rock art in its wider cultural context.

Gold Coast Wreck Conservation Project (Queensland)
7th-19th of July, 2014. Flinders University. This Maritime Archaeology Field school is a practicum which provides students with opportunities to participate in the workplace environment. Occasionally, maritime archaeology fieldwork opportunities arise in which students may assist government agencies, consultancy firms, non-profit groups or other universities. This topic provides students with the ability to participate in these projects and receive one-on-one guidance and instruction with immediate feedback on their performance. This practicum will allow students to put their theoretical learning into practice, develop a sense of the workplace, enhance their employment prospects through additional training, build a network of contacts, and develop a range of personal and professional work skills. This topic will be taught in intensive mode during a full week, including two weekends, and will necessitate involvement and input from a range of maritime archaeology practitioners. SCUBA diving qualifications are not necessary for participation. The body of the topic will comprise practical exercises, field work and associated lecture/seminars. For further information, visit our website

Hinchinbrook Island (Queensland)
July 7-15, 2013. Flinders University. This topic is a practicum which provides students with opportunities to participate in the workplace environment. Occasionally, maritime archaeology fieldwork opportunities arise in which students may assist government agencies, consultancy firms, non-profit groups or other universities. This topic provides students with the ability to participate in these projects and receive one-on-one guidance and instruction with immediate feedback on their performance. The practicum will be based in Queensland on Hinchinbrook Island with the support of the Department of Environment and Research Management (DERM) and Hinchinbrook National Park.

Human Osteology Laboratory Short Course (Adelaide, South Australia)
10 – 14 November, 2014. Flinders University. This is an intensive lab topic that provides students with a detailed introduction to the human skeleton. In addition to the identification of all components of the skeleton, students will learn the range of biological and chemical information that is recorded in the human skeleton. In relation to archaeology and forensic science, the topic provides knowledge regarding the location, identification, recovery, and analysis of human remains occurring in field contexts. Key information regarding biological age, sex, stature, geographic origin, behavioral attributes, and chronometric dating are addressed. Workshops provide the essential hands-on practical component of teaching and learning in human osteology. For further information, visit our website

Institute for Field Research (Oceania)
The Institute for Field Research conducts occasional work in Oceania, among many other projects around the world.

Ngadjuri (Ngadjuri Lands)
April 4-27 and/or September 22-October 5, 2014. Flinders University. In 2014 the ARCH8803/8809 field school will be run as part of a the Ngadjuri Heritage Project (NHP), a co-ordinated approach by the Ngadjuri Nation to the research, planning and management of key areas and regions in Ngadjuri land.

Phillip Island (Victoria)
February 1-15, 2015. Flinders University.

The Flinders University Maritime Archaeology Field School will run as a two week intensive course from the 1st to the 15th of February, 2015. The Maritime Archaeology Field School (ARCH3309/8152) provides students with an introduction to the techniques of underwater survey, position fixing, mapping, photography, recording, excavation and conservation.  Some lectures and videos will be provided on the various research methods and techniques used by maritime archaeologists. The Field School will include practical exercises, field work and associated lecture/seminars.

The Maritime Archaeology Field School was held on Phillip Island, Victoria in 2012 and 2014. Both times, the topic was run in cooperation with Heritage Victoria. Phillip Island is located about 140km kilometres south/southeast of Melbourne and forms a natural barrier for the waters of Western Port. The 2012 and 2014 Flinders University maritime archaeology field schools included a shipwreck survey of McHaffie Reef plus a study of a land-based shipwreck Speke (1891–1906) and maritime infrastructure around the island. 

Maritime archaeologists from Heritage Victoria inspected the McHaffie Reef shipwreck sites in the 1980s and confirmed that one of them dates possibly to the mid 19th century. The vessel’s remains are partially intact, are of wooden construction, and have an estimated length of 20 yards. In 2012, the student relocated the shipwreck site and tentatively identified its remains as from the Leven Lass. The ship ran aground on Phillip Island to save its cargo after the vessel had sprung a leak in 1854.  The archaeological evidence, i.e., construction materials, cargo, vessel size, and wrecking location all correspond to evidence gathered during archival research. The goals of the 2014 field school were to map the possible remains of Leven Lass, and to date, identify, and record other shipwrecks on McHaffie Reef, and facilitate further maritime archaeological studies of Western Port Bay.

Non-diving students enrolled in the 2015 field school will survey the remains of the steel ship Speke and record its construction details. This large, three-masted steel ship capsized on the southwest side of Phillip Island, where its bow is still a prominent feature on the beach.

Applying

Flinders University's Maritime Archaeology Program is now accepting applications to participate in the Maritime Archaeology Field School 2015.  This is an exciting opportunity as it is also being offered as a short course.  By offering it as a short course, those individuals who are not currently enrolled at a university may still participate. Avocational and volunteer archaeologists are encouraged to apply.  Upon completion of the field school participants receive training certification through AIMA/NAS level II and/or III (level III requires that  participants have attended a two-day conference in the past or future). 

The cost of field school is comparable to the tuition and fees Flinders University's Australian and international students pay. There are a limited amount of spots available, so please express interest early.

Follow the link below for the application and more information on the field school. 

APPLICATION FORM FOR OVERSEAS AND INTERSTATE STUDENTS
Please contact Dr Jonathan Benjamin (jonathan.benjamin@flinders.edu.au) with further questions. For further details on all aspects of this field school follow this link http://www.flinders.edu.au/ehl/archaeology/fieldwork/field-schools/maritime-field-school/

Redbanks (South Australia) (Advanced Field Methods)
September 17-28, 2012. Flinders University. In 2012 students will be working with the Mallala Historical Committee and the Mallala Museum to excavate the site of the Seven Stars Hotel at Redbanks. The Seven Stars was the first pub in the district and operated from 1865 until the 1930s. Local stories about the site are very colourful and suggest that in its heyday the top storey operated largely as a brothel and gambling saloon. In the 1900s the building became a boarding house and later a private residence. It was demolished sometime in the 1930s.

Rock Art Field School (South Australia, Ngadjuri Land)
22-28 September, 2014. Flinders University. This field school provides a unique opportunity for students to undertake community archaeology in Australia. Students will have the chance to learn practical archaeological skills while at the same time developing other practical and personal skills necessary to conduct archaeological research with Aboriginal communities. In particular, students will focus on the recording of rock art in its wider cultural and archaeological context. The field school will involve some seminars, but will mostly be directed towards in-depth practical recording skills necessary for rock art research in an archaeological framework. For further information, visit our website.

Ships: Research, Recording and Reconstruction
22–28 September 2014. Flinders University. This topic provides students with the theoretical and practical training necessary for researching ships and ship construction. Students will develop an in-depth knowledge of recording, representing and interpreting ship construction. Students should expect to learn nautical terminology, the basic components of a ship and activities aboard, principles of ship construction and rigging, procedures for taking and drafting ship lines and construction plans, hull analysis, procedures for graphic representation of hulls and principles of reconstructing ships.

South Australia: Archaeological Field Methods
29th of September – 4th October, 2014. Flinders University. This short course will provides students with an introduction to a range of basic archaeological surveying field techniques employed in a variety of archaeological contexts; these techniques are widely used throughout Australia and similar to those used internationally. It aims to bridge the gap between 'formal' archaeology lectures and 'hands on' archaeology and hence is focused around practical, skills-based exercises. They preparation for more advanced practicals taught in some of the second and third year archaeology topics (in particular it is required that students complete this topic before undertaking any of the upper level archaeology field schools). This topic is a core topic for all students enrolled in the Bachelor of Archaeology. It aims to: introduce students to field observational skills; introduce students to field note taking skills; introduce basic archaeological site surveying techniques; introduce basic archaeological fieldwork recording skills; assist students to develop basic skills in reading, understanding and interpreting site plans; assist students to develop basic skills in map reading, understanding and interpretation; develop students' ability to work successfully in a group. On completion students will be able to demonstrate: basic field observational skills; basic field note taking skills; familiarity with, and basic competency in, archaeological site surveying techniques; familiarity with, and basic competency in, archaeological fieldwork recording skills; basic skills in reading, understanding and interpreting site plans; basic skills in map reading, understanding and interpretation; the ability to work successfully in a group. For more information, visit our website

South Australia: Archaeological Field Methods Field School
10th-16th November, 2014. Flinders University. The Archaeological Field Methods Field School (ARCH8801) will be undertaken at a local site in South Australia. The first two days of the field school will consist of lectures and practical exercises on the Flinders University campus, however this will be followed by a further five days of intensive field work, where students will be able to apply their field skills to a range of real-world archaeological scenarios. Spaces on this fieldschool are limited to 15 students and short-course participants, so if you are interested you should enrol soon. Enrolment requires permission from the topic coordinator, Dr Mick Morrison, and students should complete a FAQ in order to seek approval to do the topic. Short-course students are welcome to participate in the field school and should contact the Topic Coordinator for more information. The On-Campus Intensive: Lectures and practicals will be held between 8 am and 5 pm in the Archaeology Teaching Lab (HUMN 112) and students are required to be on campus for two full days. We anticipate 3-4 hours of lectures each day with the remainder being taken up by discussions, group activities and assessment tasks. We will have regular breaks during the day, including 1 hour for lunch. Coffee, tea and light snacks will be provided. For more information, visit our website

South Australia Field Methods
November 17-20, 2014. Flinders University. The 2014 Archaeological Field Methods Field School (ARCH8801) will be undertaken at a local site in South Australai. The first two days of the fieldschool will consist of lectures and practical exercises at Flinders University, however this will be followed by a further five days of intensive field work, where students will be able to apply their field skills to a range of real-world archaeological scenarios.

South Australia - Maritime Archaeology Advanced Practicum: Marine Geophysics

November 18th - 21st, 2014. Flinders University.  :  This topic will provide students the opportunity to study marine geophysics for archaeology in both theoretical and practical application. The topic will be delivered with specialist support from Dr Paul Baggaley who has over a decade of experience in developing the industry-leading geophysics team for Wessex Archaeology (Paul and his team have carried out over 100 maritime archaeology projects in the United Kingdom). Students will benefit from lectures and will be introduced to data processing and interpretation, which they will carry out under supervision. Students will become familiar with a professional workflow and specialist software familiarization. Students will also participate in an offshore survey (weather dependent) to acquire data over a historic shipwreck. They will then have the opportunity to review and interpret that data as part of this intensive four-day practicum.

Project Directors and Contact Information: Dr. Jonathan Benjamin (jonathan.benjamin@flinders.edu.au);

Apply Now: http://www.flinders.edu.au/ehl/archaeology/fieldwork/field-schools/application-form.cfm

South Australia Museum
July 9-13, 2012. Flinders University. In 2012 the Museum field school/short course will be run by the South Australian Museum, the premier collecting institution in South Australia. The Museum's archaeology collection includes highly significant excavation assemblages, surface collections and donations accumulated since 1900. The Museum field school will explore the depth and richness of the SA Museum’s Aboriginal archaeology collection. It will investigate how objects came into the collection, who collects, how they are stored and why they are stored into the future. Discussion will focus on methodologies of collecting, assessing significance, conservation and repatriation.

West Terrace Cemetery, South Australia, Adelaide
14th-17th of April, 2014. The Flinders University Historical Cemeteries Field School will be run as a four day intensive course from the. It is designed as a third year topic, ARCH 3308. The field school provides experience in historical archaeological field methods and will contain some lecture and workshop content, but will mostly be directed towards teaching students in-depth practical recording and assessment skills necessary for historical archaeological practice. The location of the field school will be based between Flinders University Campus and the West Terrace Cemetery in Adelaide. It aims to: develop field skills associated with the practice of historical archaeology; develop historical documentary research skills associated with the practice of historical archaeology; improve understanding of the relationship between excavation and analysis. On completion students will be able to: identify the professional skills required to conduct archaeological field work; classify and catalogue a selection of archaeological material; relate information provided in primary and secondary source material to an actual archaeological site and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of comparing documentary information with material evidence; demonstrated an understanding of the range of recording processes necessary on an archaeological field project; record this fieldwork process to an acceptable professional standard. For more information, visit our website

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.