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Field School

The ARI Public Archaeology Field School is designed to introduce students to archaeological field methodologies. The field school is focused on the surrounding cultural landscape at an Early Fort Ancient agricultural village in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The field school includes a strong public interaction component; students will work with the public and learn how to better share the deep history of the Ohio Valley with members of the community. Students will get the opportunity to learn archaeological survey, unit and feature excavation methods, land restoration and stewardship, and laboratory methods. The Archaeological Research Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to educating current and future generations about past cultures through the identification, investigation, and preservation of local archaeological sites. We accomplish this mission by offering curated and learning-outcome-focused educational programming; hands-on archaeological experiences, conducting research, and collaborating with the public to develop inclusive and innovative approaches to public educational programming. Field students will get an opportunity to join this mission and are expected to assist in the mission of public outreach and education. 

Field School Essential Duties  
Students will be trained in the following areas:  

Students will be introduced to site mapping, compass navigation, and map reading. Students will conduct Phase I shovel test survey, identification of artifacts, mapping, and maintaining detailed notes for analysis. Students will learn about soil horizons and assessing site size. 

Students will be introduced to unit and feature excavations. This includes shovel and trowel excavation, feature identification, mapping, photographing, artifact identification, and flotation collection. Excavations will include 1x2m excavation units, block excavation, and feature excavation. Students will be trained in Munsell use, soil types, and how to problem-solve excavations. 

Lab Methods
Students will be introduced to lab stabilization and analysis. This includes flotation, artifact washing, artifact sorting by material culture class, and stabilization and curation techniques. Students will learn how to identify artifact classes, and initial levels of analysis (including the categories of a diagnostic artifact, exotic materials, and use-wear). Students will be introduced to basic concepts of curation, accessioning, and stabilization. 

Public Outreach

Students will be asked to help guide members of the public on tours of the archaeological site, teach about the archaeology of the Ohio Valley and basic archaeological methods. Students will be responsible for creating public interpretation aids by the end of their field season.   

Land Stewardship
Students will be introduced to the concept of Land Stewardship and the multiple stakeholders in archaeological concerns including landowners, descendent communities, the public, municipal governments, and archaeologists, Students will be expected to assist in ARI’s program of transitioning an archaeological site from an agricultural field to a stewardship taking all stakeholders concerns into account.  

Legal and Ethical Obligations
Students will be exposed to the legal and ethical standards of archaeology. These will be guided by the SAA standards and practices, federal and state laws (such as Section 106 of the NRHP and NAGPRA), and ARI standards of consultation with descendant communities.   

Enrollment is open to all students and individuals looking to attend an archaeology field school. At least one course in anthropology or archaeology is preferred. The field school restricts enrollment to 12 persons per session to ensure a quality experience for each student. Since enrollment is limited, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Preference will be given to anthropology and archaeology majors. Please review the deadlines for application according to the session of your preference. Within a week following the application deadline, students will be notified of their acceptance into the field school.  

Course Credit:  
Students wishing to receive course credit should have their advisors reach out to or call 812.290.2966. It may be possible for ARI and your university to work out an agreement for credit of a field school or credit for an independent study.  

Campground facilities are available for students at the public archaeology field school. Students must review and sign the campground rules, liability waiver and bring all required items. Please indicate in the field school application if you intend to use the campground facilities.  

Campers are required to bring: Personal tent, sleeping equipment, plastic tub for toiletries, personal towel, plastic tub for food items, camp chair, toiletries, laundry items.  

Campers have access to: Community kitchen and dining area, community shower, port-a-potty, community firepit and tent areas. 



Scholarships available


Session 1:

May 29th through June 28th, Tuesday – Friday. University of Cincinnati Students Only

Session 2: 

July 9th through August 9th, Tuesday-Friday. Open to All Other Students


The field school is designed around a five-week session (approximately 240 total hours). The Field School will consist of two five-week sessions with a 1-week gap period

Students may participate in one session full-time, or in both sessions in a part-time manner. We recognize that taking time off for field school is a financial burden that can present a barrier for the entry into the field. By presenting part-time options we hope to broaden the accessibility of archaeology for students. Accounting for unexpected illnesses, unavoidable conflicts, and weather all students should meet and exceed RPA standards of field-hours.  


Early Admissions Deadlines: 
(Encouraged if seeking financial aid) 

  • May 1st for all

Admissions Deadlines:

  • Session 2: June 1st


Dover Campground Description

Located about 20min from the ARI base camp is a secluded 6.5 acre campground where ARI interns, field students, and AmeriCorps NCCC volunteers are allowed to camp throughout field season.
Students and interns that will be camping are allowed to pitch a tent, car camp and utilize the shared campground facilities.


Community area
  • Refrigerator
  • Kitchenette
  • Grill
  • Shower facility
  • Portable restrooms
  • Fire pit with seating
Campers are responsible for providing:
  • Tent (no bigger than a 6 person tent)
  • Sleeping bag & cot
  • Plastic locking tub for non perishable items
  • Personal toiletries
  • Food and drink
  • Head lamp

Scholarship Opportunities

The Archaeological Research Institute sponsors individuals that need financial assistance the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to our public archaeology field school.  

Sponsor: Founding Members of ARI 

Title: Guard Site Scholarship 


Link to application:  
Use the ‘Apply Now’ button above to apply for the ARI Public Archaeology Field School and the Guard Site Scholarship.

Synopsis: Established in honor of ARI Founding Members, this scholarship is intended to help students who are planning to participate in the ARI Public Archaeology Field School for the first time. ARI founding members established the Archaeological Research Institute to educate the public about all the important archaeological sites in the Ohio River Valley Region and through that education, cultivate stewards of these rare and sacred resources. Education of the public takes on many forms, whether it be through hands-on experiences, assistance in our research, educational tours, talks, technology, or candid one-on-one discussions. Students at the field school are required to learn how to educate the public, work side-by-side with the public in researching the region’s past and make archaeology accessible to everyone.  

The Archaeological Institute of America offers a scholarship to first-time participants in an archaeological field school. 

Archaeological Institute of America 

Jane C. Waldbaum Archaeological Field School Scholarship



Program URL:

Established in honor of AIA Past President Jane Waldbaum, this scholarship is intended to help students who are planning to participate in archaeological fieldwork for the first time. Students majoring in archaeology or related disciplines are especially encouraged to apply.

The Historically Underrepresented Groups Scholarship endowment fund was established in 2010 to increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups obtaining degrees in archaeology.

The SAA HUGS provides funding for minority archaeology students to attend archaeological field schools and thus prepare for careers in archeology and heritage management.

The submission period opens on October 1 annually.

Learn more about the HUGS award and how to apply. 

Eligible applicants should use this form to request monies from the Indiana Archaeology Council’s Leon Hostetler Fund ( to be used for attending an Indiana archaeological field school. Each applicant may submit one request no greater than a total of $ 500.00 per year.

Eligible applicants:
Current college students (undergraduate or graduate) who wish to attend an archaeological field school conducted in Indiana.


  • The archaeological field school must take place in Indiana and be conducted under the direction of a qualified archaeological Principal Investigator.
  • The applicant must use this form to apply and complete all portions of this document.
  • The form must be signed by the applicant and the qualified archaeological Principal Investigator who is scheduled to direct the field school.

Application process:
Applicants must complete and submit the application by the due date. All application materials should be compiled as a single PDF and emailed to Amy Johnson at by the due date.

Members of the Indiana Archaeology Council Board of Directors will review the received applications and notify the awardee within three weeks of the application due date. The number of awards granted will be determined by the availability of funds

Priority will be given to applicants who:

  1. Have less field experience in archaeology.
  2. Successfully explain their financial need to apply for the fund.
  3. Provide a more detailed explanation of what they hope to gain by attending the field school.
  4. Present a complete application.

Link to Application:
CLICK HERE to apply.

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