Monday, February 01, 2016

Archaeological Field School at Historic St. Mary's City

Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC), in association with St. Mary’s College of Maryland, announces its 2016 field school in historical archaeology, May 31st to August 6th, HSMC is a state‑supported, outdoor museum located at the site of Maryland’s first capital (1634-1694).  The main focus of this summer’s excavations is on the yards directly adjacent to the Calvert House. Built in the first decade of Maryland’s settlement by Leonard Calvert, the first Governor, it served as the statehouse of the Province until 1676. Previous testing in the back yard revealed the presence of numerous fences, borrow pits, several outbuildings and the ditch of a 1645 fort. Excavations will seek to better define the fences, identify outbuildings, and explore selected features to aid in dating the development of this landscape.

For the student, the program is an intensive, 10 week experience in Colonial archaeology. The first week includes lectures on history, archaeological methods and material culture studies. Students learn artifact identification by working with one of the best archaeological collections of 17th-century, Colonial material in the country.

During the following weeks, students participate in excavation, recording and analysis. Guest scholars speak on the history and architecture of the Chesapeake region. Field trips to nearby archaeological sites in Maryland and Virginia are planned.  Students will also have the rare opportunity to learn about and help sail the MARYLAND DOVE, a replica of a 17th‑century, square‑rigged tobacco ship.

The HSMC field school is designed for students in American Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, History, and Museum Studies. Students may register for either Anthropology or History credits.  Prior experience or course work is not required. The ability to engage in active physical labor is essential.  A total of eight (8) credit hours are offered through St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a state honors college dedicated to the Liberal Arts.  The program costs $1560 which covers tuition.  There is a $60 fee to cover the cost of the major field trips.  Housing is available at a reduced cost through the college. Transportation, food and entertainment are the responsibility of the student. HSMC is located two hours south of Washington, D.C. in Southern Maryland.

To apply to the 2016 HSMC Archaeology Field School, send an email or a letter stating your interest in the course and listing any relevant classes, experience, or special skills. Include the email addresses of two academic references. Please list a phone number and address both at school and at home where you can be reached after the semester is over. Housing is limited so apply early. For specific questions about the course, email: or send letters to:

Archaeology Program
Department of Research & Collections, HSMC
P.O.Box 39
St. Mary's City, Maryland 20686

Application Deadline: April 24, 2016