Certifications

Field Technician - Lab Technician - Interpreter

Volunteer Certification Programs:

  • Field Technician Certification
  • Lab Technician Certification
  • Interpreter Certification

What is an ARI Field Tech?

Archaeological Field Technicians are the “bread and butter” of the grilled cheese sandwich that is archaeology.

Field Technicians are crucial in an archaeological excavation, they are the ones in the trenches and units excavating, mapping, and collecting artifacts. They are the first point of contact between the past and the present, so their skills and talents are crucial to a successful archaeological excavation. Archaeological Field Technicians will aid crew chiefs and field directors in multiple tasks including surveying the site, excavating test units and trenches, keeping notes, as well as mapping and documenting finds. 

Why become an ARI field Tech?

The Guard Site is rich in archaeological material, only about 1% of the total site has been excavated and thousands of artifacts have been recovered providing important insights into prehistoric life in South Eastern Indiana. As an archaeological technician with ARI you are guaranteed a top-notch experience working alongside skilled directors and crew chiefs who have devoted their lives to learning about the past. You will learn the scientific protocols of excavating an archaeological site from deciding where to dig to interpreting what you find and play a crucial role in the research going on at the site by keeping detailed records and maps that will be preserved at ARI in perpetuity.
Being an archaeological technician is no easy task, it is a lot of bending, heavy lifting, and long days in the sun. However, it all becomes worth it when you hold a potsherd in your hands which hasn’t been touched by another person for over 1,000 years. As a field technician you will be able to in effect step back in time and walk in the footsteps of Fort Ancient peoples as you peel back layers of soil. It is an experience like no other. 

Skills You Will Develop as An Archaeological Technician

  • Attention to detail 
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Physical Strength


Requirements

Volunteer & Training Hours: Participants complete 24 hours of training and 24 hours of volunteer hours at ARI.

Training:
24 hours of training courses and attendance at qualified lectures.


ARI Field Tech Course:
24 hours of field work over the course of 5 days. Acquiring skills to be self-sufficient in the field and aid in the training and supervision of volunteers. 

  • Surveying – auger/test units
  • Setting up a unit
  • Documentation and mapping
  • Excavation 


Assignments:
Personal Archaeology Research Project

Attendance at ARI Sponsored Lectures

Volunteer Hours:
24 hours of volunteer hours in the past 18 months – 15 hours must be excavation hours 

Qualifying hours include: 

  • Field excavation Hours
  • Artifact Curation Hours
  • Board Meeting Hours
  • Committee meeting Hours
  • Volunteer hours in the Learning Center or tours at the excavation site

Cost: $199

What is included?

  • Leadership shirt - specifically for lab tech 
  • Certificate 
  • Name Tag 


Benefits

  • Work with the artifacts
  • Help produce knowledge 
  • Exclusive content

What is a Lab Technician?

Lab technicians are crucial for making sense of the past, without their work archaeologists would have trouble figuring out what was going on at the site. Lab technicians wash, count, weigh, and measure artifacts recovered from archaeological excavations. They primarily work indoors, but it is beneficial for them to work in the field for a few days to get a feeling of what is being found and where in the site. Lab techs have great skills of observation and pay close attention to detail, they will organize the artifacts and data for later research. 

Why become an ARI Lab Tech?

Lab technicians at ARI will always be busy, thousands of artifacts are recovered from the Guard site every year! It sometimes takes years to process the artifacts from one field season. Artifacts from the Guard site are always interesting and as a lab technician you will see the wide range of objects and resources the Fort Ancient people who lived here for 1000 years used to satisfy their everyday needs! You will have the first glimpse of the data that will be used to interpret the lifeways of the people who lived and worked here. You may also get the chance to work side by side with a professional archaeologists gathering data and working on projects that result in publications. 

Skills You Will Learn as Lab Technician

  • Attention to detail 
  • Fine motor skill (i.e. picking up and moving small items)Ability to use computer software to create databases


Duties

  • cleaning artifacts
  • sorting, counting, and weighing artifacts
  • flotation
  • sorting heavy fraction
  • entering data into database
  • supervising volunteers
  • collections management
  • basic lab maintenance - cleaning, inventory of supplies
  • logging visitor and volunteer hours


Requirements
:

Participants complete a 2-hour tour of the facility, a 1-hour tour of the site, a 8 hour training course, and 18 hours of self-guided training and research, and 24 hours of volunteer hours at ARI, 12 of those being in the lab and 8 in the field.
ARI Lab Tech Course – 8 hours at ARI Learning Center

  • 1-hour discussion of Prehistory in tri-state area (hopewell, fort ancient, historical)
  • 3.5-hour discussion of artifacts found at Guard
      • bone
      • stone
      • pottery
      • extraneous
  • 1-hour protocol for washing and sorting artifacts
  • 2 hours of guided washing and sorting

Self-Guided Learning: 24 hours of training courses and attendance at qualified lectures

Assignments/Projects - Filled out in book - check marks to indicate proficiency 

  • Journal Prompt Entries for each activity
  • Hour Logs
  • Proposal for research or paper on interpretation of Fort Ancient activities at Guard based on observations of data

Volunteer Hours: 24 hours of volunteer hours in the past 18 month. 12 hours are required in curation hours and 8 in field excavation hours. 

Qualifying hours include: 

  • Field excavation Hours
  • Artifact Curation Hours
  • Board Meeting Hours
  • Committee meeting Hours
  • Volunteer hours in the Learning Center or tours at the excavation site

Cost: $199

What is included?

  • Leadership shirt - specifically for lab tech 
  • Certificate 
  • Name Tag 

Benefits

  • Get to work with the artifacts
  • Help produce knowledge 
  • Exclusive content

What is an interpreter?

Interpreters are the individuals that the audience will interact with the most during a tour, program, or visit; they are the facilitators and guides of the visitor experience at the site. Their role is to connect those that come and visitor the site or attend programs with the resources within a site (i.e. artifacts, location, plants, animals, etc.). They build these connections by communicating the importance of the resources in an interactive and engaging manner providing room for multiple viewpoints and dialogue. A good interpreter is able to connect the resources found at a site to the values and experiences of the visitors, at archaeological sites this means connecting the past to the present. Interpreters are the individuals that the audience will interact with the most during a tour, program, or visit; they are the facilitators and guides of the visitor experience at the site.

Why become an ARI Interpreter?

Interpretation plays an important role in the preservation and protection of our local archeological heritage sites. The purpose of ARI Interpreters is to use archeological evidence to encourage the public to form meaningful, personal connections with past peoples and places as well as the resources that substantiate their stories. Our aim is to educate, and to inspire, but also to engender a stewardship ethic. 

We aim to educate our interpreters to understand and communicate archaeological resource-based interpretive philosophies, methods, and techniques. Using their knowledge of audiences and communication techniques, interpreters translate complex technical information about past peoples, places, and events. They engage with audiences to address their questions about people's lives in the past. In the process, interpreters demonstrate the significance of archaeology and why the past matters.

Skills You Will Learn as an Interpreter

  • Hone your public speaking and presentation skills
  • Practice the ability to condense and present scientific information to the public
  • Gain the ability to craft engaging and interactive activities and programs for audiences of all ages


Requirements
:

Participants complete 30 hours of training and 30 hours of volunteer hours at ARI, 15 of which must include leading tours or working on the main floor at the center. 

At least 2 other Guided Tours
ARI Interpretive Course – Parts for a total of 8 hours at ARI headquarters

  • Knowing your Resource
  • Audience Centered Experience (ACE) Course (5 hrs) 

Required Readings (pdfs provided) 

Videos

Volunteer Hours:
A total of 40 hours are required. 20 of those must be either guiding tours and working in the Learning Center. 10 must be in field excavation. The remaining 10 are free choice.

  • Field excavation Hours
  • Artifact Curation Hours
  • Board Meeting Hours
  • Committee meeting Hours
  • Working in the Learning Center or guiding tours at the excavation site


Assignments/Projects

  • Journal Prompts (one of each activity)
  • Research Bibliography (goal is to research to create interp. program) 
  • Interpretive Program/Tour
  • Hours Log 

Cost: $199

What is included?

  • Leadership shirt 
  • Certificate 
  • Name Tag 

Benefits

  • get to work with the artifacts
  • help produce knowledge 
  • exclusive content

For a small fee for educational materials and training sessions with our staff, you can become a certified volunteer. ARI certified volunteers help advance our mission, contribute to research & educate the public. ARI certified volunteers go through educational training similar to our interns so that they can work directly with the public and independently of our staff archaeologists. Most certifications have the following requirements:  40 hours minimum volunteer hours, required readings, sign-offs on skills by staff archaeologists, personal projects and a registration fee.