University of Maine Catalog Description
ANT 477 – Field Research in Archaeology
Introduction to archaeological field techniques through excavation of an archaeological site. Intensive training in site survey, excavation techniques, recording, analysis and preliminary interpretation of archaeological materials. Admission is by application only.
General Information and Goals of the Course
The 2019 Maine archaeology field school will take place at a coastal archaeology site near Machias, Maine. The site selected for this year’s research is a shell midden containing a cultural and paleoenvironmental record spanning roughly 3,000 years. Shell midden sites are unique places on the Maine landscape where Indigenous families lived for millennia. Large accumulations of clam shells at these locations aid in the preservation of a material and ecological record that includes stone and bone tools, aboriginal ceramics, food remains, and charred plant remains.
Additionally, the site is situated in a region famous for Indigenous petroglyphs or rock art features that are important to Passamaquoddy people who are active partners in research and management of cultural resources in the area. As such, the field school is conducted in cooperation with the Passamaquoddy Tribal Historic Preservation Office and focuses on exploration of past Indigenous lifeways as well as the early occupation of the area by the French and English in the 1600’s. Through this research we will learn about both cultures and the complex social processes that accompany colonization.