Ontario Archaeology Field School

This course will not be offered Summer 2019

The 2018 Ontario Field School provides a focused and intensive introduction to archaeological field methods, from Stage Two (field survey) to Stage Three and Four (excavation). Our fieldwork is supported by digital survey methods, GIS, and digital cartography, which provides participants with learning opportunities in GIS and Total Station survey.

We will be working in the vicinity of Peterborough, ON, and mainly, but not exclusively, concentrating our activities on the further definition and excavation of Historic and earlier settlement patterns.

Students enrolled in the Ontario Archaeology field school participate in a range of activities, including field walking (over rough terrain, in all weather), excavation, digital survey using Total Stations and GPS receivers, lab-based archival work, mapping and cartography, artifact analysis, and the generation of documentation that accounts for their findings.

These activities are supplemented by lectures, talks, and discussion, which address key ideas in interpretation of the past and the region's cultural history.

The program runs for five weeks, between 1 May and 31 May (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm). This is a non-residential field school, although summer accommodation is available on the Trent University campus.

Enrolment will be limited to 20 students so that a low student/staff ratio can be maintained in order to maximize the learning experience. Trent normally requires that at least 15 students register for the course in order for it to operate.

The short and medium range goals of the Field School Program are:

  • to provide participants with the technical knowledge required to participate effectively on archaeological field survey and excavation methods in Ontario;
  • to promote understanding of the Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists (Ontario);
  • develop participants' theoretical understanding of the role of archaeological fieldwork and its relationship to broader issues (First Nations and heritage rights, conservation, ethics, stake holder concerns; etc.); and
  • build participants' respect and understanding of Ontario's archaeological heritage.

In all cases, the technical and practical work will be situated in an evolving problem-oriented framework, to which you are expected to contribute through the course.

Application Procedures

Complete and submit the Application Form.There is a $250 CDN course fee in addition to tuition. Please submit this fee (cheque payable to Trent University Department of Anthropology) as your deposit when applying to the Field School.

Information for Non-Trent Students

We welcome students from other universities who wish to learn about archaeological field methods. If you are a non-Trent student wishing to take this course for credit, you will need to complete and submit one of your home institution's "Letter of Permission" (i.e., these are supplied by your home institution, not Trent) to enable this course to be used towards your degree requirements at your home university. If your institution requires a copy of the course description from the Trent University calendar, it is on page 23.

There is a $250 CDN course fee in addition to tuition. Please submit this fee (cheque payable to Trent University Department of Anthropology) as your deposit when applying to the Field School.

Information for Non-Degree Students

If you are interested in this course and are not currently enrolled as a student, you may apply to audit the course. Reduced fees are applied. Please download and complete this form, and submit to Judy Pinto along with the course application form. Please note the deadline for applying to audit a course is April 15th.

Course enrollment is by permission of instructor.

Further Information

Please contact:

Course Director:
Professor James Conolly
Department of Anthropology
Trent University
Peterborough, Ontario
K9L 0G2

Credit and enrollment

Students who enroll in ANTH 3000Y (Ontario) at Trent University will receive Full-Course credit (1 credit). ANTH 3000Y (Ontario), "Field Methods and Techniques" is a four-week course which operates Monday through Friday, inclusive. It is the student's responsibility to arrange transfer of credit (if applicable) from Trent University. Students attending the Ontario Field School at Trent from other institutions must apply and be accepted, in addition to providing a Letter of Permission from their home institution.

Tuition fees

Summer Session - Financial Information (2018 TBA for Domestic & International Students)

There is a $250 CDN course fee in addition to tuition. Please submit this fee as your deposit when applying to the Field School.

Students are responsible for medical expenses, personal insurance, personal equipment, and for their accommodation and meals.

Course structure

The course begins with some preliminary classroom instruction, laboratory introduction to artifacts, field trips, and introductory instruction of field methods. Our field work begins fully in the second week and continues for four straight weeks. The final week of the course is reserved for laboratory processing and documentation, and your completed portfolio is due on the last day of the course (Thursday, 31 May).

Grades in Anthropology 3000Y are based upon a within-course test (25%), participation (25%), field skills assessment (25%), and an archaeological portfolio (25%).

There is one required text, which is the current version of the Ontario Standards and Guidelines for Consulting Archaeologists.

Personal equipment

In addition to this text, each student must provide:

• 1 two-metre or longer measuring tape
• 1 ruler
• 1 clipboard
• 1 pencil sharpener
• HB pencils or a mechanical pencil with HB leads
• 1 eraser
• 1 field notebook

Safety boots (green tab) must be worn will working outside at all times, so buy a comfortable pair. Work gloves are necessary. Because we often will continue to work outside on rainy days (within reason), rain gear is also advisable. It is also essential to wear a brimmed hat while in the field. Bear in mind that all items of apparel will get dirty. Any questions you may have about these items can wait until the first meeting of class.

Participants must also provide proof of a current tetanus vaccination or booster, and should supply themselves with their favourite sunscreen, sunburn and other lotions, and headache remedy.