Certified Volunteers

Field Technician – Lab Technician – Interpreter

ARI Certified Volunteers

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. The training allows you to work directly with the public and independently of our staff. We offer certification bundles that provide certifications at a discounted rate if you do more than one.  Each certification requires readings, checkpoints, a seasonal re-education course, a background check, and a registration fee.

Benefits:

  • Archaeological Experience!
  • Ability to work with ARI on non-public days
  • Discounts on events like lectures or workshops
  • Merchandise discounts
  • T-shirt
  • Nametag
  • Gold embossed certificate of completion
  • Workbook
  • Gold trowel pin
  • Field Technician Certification
  • Lab Technician Certification
  • Interpreter Certification

ARI Certified Field Volunteers are crucial to the archaeological excavations done by ARI. They are in the trenches and units excavating, mapping, and collecting artifacts. By becoming field certified you can aid ARI employees in multiple tasks including site surveys, excavating test units and trenches, keeping notes, and mapping and documenting finds.  We are the first point of contact between the past and the present, so our skills and respect for the archaeological record are crucial to a successful excavation

Why become an ARI Certified Field Volunteer?

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 importance insights into prehistoric life in Southeastern Indiana. As an ARI Certified Field Volunteer, you are guaranteed a top-notch experience working alongside and learning from skilled archaeologists who have devoted their careers to the study of the past. 

Being an ARI Field Volunteer 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 pot sherd in your hands which hasn’t been touched by another person for over 1,000 years. As a Field Volunteer 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 ARI Certified Field Volunteer:

  • Field survey and site identification
  • Feature identification
  • Excavation strategies and methods
  • Public interaction/interpretation

What Can I do as an ARI Certified Field Volunteer?

When you become an ARI Certified Volunteer, you work closely with ARI archaeologists to carefully excavate and record artifacts and features that have not been touched in 1,000 years. As ARI Certified Field Volunteers, we are entrusting you to do unit and feature excavation, screening, paperwork, and mapping.  

Specialization Opportunities:

ARI Certified Field Volunteers can do their own research and become specialized in certain aspects of field work. We have a collection full of amazing artifacts that you can use to further any questions you may have about the Fort Ancient and Guard, and we can help you to become an expert at whatever part of field work you find most interesting.

Pricing

$499

What's Included:

  • T-shirt
  • Nametag
  • Gold embossed certificate of completion
  • Workbook
  • Gold trowel pin

Additional Benefits:

  • Field Experience!
    • Includes field experience non-certified volunteers will not receive
  • A greater understanding of archaeology and our past
  • Ability to work with the collections and archaeological material at ARI at a higher level

*If there is not enough interest in the certification, the program may not be available for that field season

ARI Lab Volunteers are crucial for making sense of the past and are a vital part of any excavations. They clean, count, weigh, sort, and measure artifacts recovered from archaeological excavations. These volunteers primarily work indoors, but to offer a more holistic experience they will work a few days in the field to understand the context of the artifacts they are learning about in the lab.

Why become an ARI Certified Lab Volunteer?

Certified Lab volunteers at ARI will always be busy, thousands of artifacts are recovered from the Guard site every year! You will have the first glimpse of data that is used to interpret the lifeways of the people who lived and worked here and have the chance to work side-by-side with professional archaeologists gathering data and working on projects that result in publications.

Skills You Will Develop as an ARI Certified Lab Volunteer:

  • Artifact identification, inventory, and cataloguing
  • Collection care and management
  • Public interaction/interpretation

What Can I Do as an ARI Certified Lab Volunteer?

  • Cleaning artifacts
  • Sorting, counting, and weighing artifacts
  • Flotation
  • Sorting heavy fraction
  • Entering data into database
  • Collections management
  • Basic lab maintenance – cleaning, inventory of supplies

Specialization Opportunities:

ARI Certified Lab Volunteers can do their own research and become specialized in certain aspects of lab work. We have a collection full of amazing artifacts that you can use to further any questions you may have about the Fort Ancient and Guard, and we can help you to become an expert at whatever part of lab work you find most interesting.

Pricing

$499

What's Included:

  • T-shirt
  • Nametag
  • Gold embossed certificate of completion
  • Workbook
  • Gold trowel pin

Additional Benefits:

  • Lab Experience!
    • Includes lab experience non-certified volunteers will not receive
  •  
  • A greater understanding of archaeology and our past
  • Ability to work with the collections and archaeological material at ARI at a higher level

* If there is not enough interest in the certification, the program may not be available for that lab season

ARI Certified Interpreter Volunteers are public facing and will assist in archaeological interpretation during tours, programs, and experiences. They facilitate and guide visitors at the site, learning center, and lab. They build connections with visitors by communicating the importance of ARI’s resources in an interactive and engaging way that includes all perspectives. A good interpreter can 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.  

Why become an ARI Certified Interpreter Volunteer? 

Interpretation plays a key role in the preservation and protection of our local archaeological heritage sites.  Our aim is to educate, inspire, and cultivate stewardship. We educate interpreters to understand and communicate archaeological resource-based interpretive philosophies, methods, and techniques. Using their knowledge of audiences and communication skills, ARI Certified Interpreter Volunteers translate complex technical information about past peoples, places, and events and present it in a public facing and engaging way.  

Skills You Will Learn as an ARI Certified Interpreter Volunteer: 

  • History/Archaeology of the Tri-State Area 
  • Public Speaking 
  • Translating scientific materials and concepts for public understanding 

What Can I Do as an ARI Certified Interpreter Volunteer? 

  • Assist in the River of Time Trail or Guided Site Tours 
  • Give tours of the Learning Center and Lab 
  • Work in the community teaching about archaeology 
  • Farmer’s Market, Special Events, etc. 

Specialization Opportunities: 

ARI Certified Interpreter Volunteers can do their own research and become specialized in certain aspects of interpretive work. We have a collection full of amazing artifacts and a learning center that you can use to further any questions you may have about the Fort Ancient and Guard and how we can better inform the public about them and archaeology as a whole. We can help you to become an expert at whatever part of interpretive work you find most interesting.  

Pricing

$499

What's Included:

  • T-shirt
  • Nametag
  • Gold embossed certificate of completion
  • Workbook
  • Gold trowel pin

Additional Benefits:

  • Interpretive Experience! 
  • Includes archaeology experience non-certified volunteers will not receive 
  • A greater understanding of archaeology and our past 
  • Ability to work with the collections and archaeological material at a higher level 

*If there is not enough interest in the certification, the program may not be available for that season