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Archaeology Field School

ANTH 490 Archaeology Field School

Students interested in a well-rounded anthropological education and especially those students interested in archaeology as a career are urged to register for the summer Archaeology Field School (ANTH 490). The purpose of the field school is to train students in the basic techniques and methods of archaeological survey, excavation, and analysis, and usually involves six weeks in a field camp setting. Students are encouraged to attend early in their academic careers as this may provide additional fieldwork opportunities. Notably, most federal agencies now require a field school as appropriate training for government service.

Summer 2023 Field School

The 2023 field school will take place at Celebration Park and the Orchard Combat Training Center. The field school will provide basic training in methods and techniques of archaeological excavation, survey, laboratory processing, cataloging, and data analysis. In addition, informal discussions and lectures will focus on methods of data recovery, analysis of field data, and the analytical basis for explaining archaeological data within cultural-historical and scientific frameworks. Lecture topics include essentials of research strategy, current methodological and theoretical issues, and prehistory of the western Snake River Plain. Short field trips to other archaeological sites/points of interest may also occur, if possible.

The 2023 field school will meet four days a week (Monday – Thursday) for six weeks, from May 8th through June 15th, 2023. Fieldwork sessions are normally eight hours each day. The first four weeks of the field school (May 8th – June 1st) will be held at Celebration Park. Transportation will be provided from Boise State to the park on Mondays and back to Boise State on Thursday evenings. Students will stay overnight at the park in dorm-style accommodations. Meals and snacks will be provided. The last two weeks of the field school (June 5th – June 15th) will be held at the Orchard Combat Training Center (OCTC). Transportation will be provided daily between Boise State and OCTC. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Field and kitchen equipment and supplies are provided. Students are required to provide their personal gear (including bedding for the first four weeks).

Application Process

To apply complete the Summer 2023 Field School Application and attach a copy of your unofficial transcript(s) and a one-page letter of interest that explains your reasons for applying to the field school and details your interest and experience in archaeology and your career objectives. The application deadline is Monday, April 10, 2023. Applications will be evaluated shortly after that and students will be notified a week after the deadline of their acceptance into the field school. Please note that if a minimum capacity is not reached that the field school for summer 2023 may be canceled.


Enrollment is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Course prerequisites include ANTH 103 Intro to Archaeology and PERM/INST. The field school restricts enrollment to 12 persons 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 majors. Once you have been notified of your acceptance into the field school, a permission number will be issued to register for the class. Students must register through their myBoiseState account for 6 credit hours.


Upon registering for ANTH 490 a $700 field school room and board/course fee will be added to your student account. The course fee and room and board fee are required along with the 6-credit course fee. The course fee and room and board fees must be paid prior to the beginning of the field school unless the fees are being paid from a summer financial aid award, at which time the fees will be paid with the summer financial aid award is disbursed.

Scholarship Opportunities

There are scholarship opportunities available to assist students with covering the cost of the field school.

Boise State Anthropology Department Field School Scholarship

The department offers several Room and Board Scholarships to eligible students. See the Archaeology Field School Application form for details, or contact

Archaeological Institute of America Scholarship

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

Sponsor: Archaeological Institute of America
Program Number: 98176
Title: Jane C. Waldbaum Archaeological Field School Scholarship
Program URL:
Synopsis: 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 Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Historically Underrepresented Groups Scholarship (HUGS)

The Historically Underrepresented Groups Scholarship endowment fund was established in 2010 to increase the 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.