Monday, April 06, 2015

Great Dismal Swamp Archaeological Field School, May 13- June 17th

American University and the Department of Anthropology are pleased to invite students to participate in the 6th Great Dismal Swamp Archaeology Field School to start during the early summer of 2015. The Field School will take place in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina (near Norfolk, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach, VA, and Elizabeth City, NC). This summer’s course represents a continuation of the Great Dismal Swamp Landscape Study (GDSLS), an initiative started by the Project Director, Dr. Dan Sayers, in 2001. We will be working in close partnership with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the stewards of the Refuge, and maintaining and developing interactive dialogue with the broader public. A main research focus for the GDSLS in 2015 will be on further developing our understanding of the internal dynamics of resistant and generally self-reliant communities in the swamp interior (composed primarily of Indigenous Americans and African-Americans who permanently removed themselves from conditions of enslavement, also known as maroons). We are also interested in the impacts of historical processes of colonialism (1600s), race-based enslavement (1700s), and profitable development of natural resources (1800s) on the swamp and its resistance communities.
In 2015, our fieldwork will emphasize site discovery and archaeological survey rather than the more intensive excavations at known sites that we have done in past AU field schools. Participants will share in the excitement of recording previously unknown archaeological sites while also helping us to vastly increase our understanding of pre-Civil War swamp life and population dynamics within the swamp’s political economy.
For full consideration please apply to the 2015 Dismal Swamp Field School no later than April 15, 2015. Application can be found here .
Please send applications and direct any school-related questions to:
Dr. Daniel O. Sayers
Department of Anthropology
Battelle-Tompkins Bldg
American University
Washington DC 20016