Archaeology Field School
Exploring three Copper Harbor structures
May 8 – June 22, 2017 (Track A)
SS 3210 Field Archaeology (undergrad) / SS5700 Archaeological Field Methods (grad)
This year's archaeological field school will continue the collaboration between Michigan Tech and historic Fort Wilkins by investigating three buildings associated with the Fort, which is located in Copper Harbor. You will learn the entire archaeological process: site survey and mapping, excavation and data collection, lab identification and artifact processing, artifact analysis and interpretation, and producing the draft site report.
Excavations will focus on the Astor House and the privy and wash house associated with the Range Light Keeper's House. The Astor house was originally constructed as a storehouse associated with Fort Wilkins, but was later used as a hotel. The structure is noted for housing the first printing press in the Upper Peninsula which printed the Lake Superior News and Mining Journal from 1846 to 1848. The range lights and the keeper's house were constructed in 1868.
Inquiries should be filed with Dr. Wurst.
The Field School Experience
Learning archaeological fieldwork is an immersive experience where teamwork is essential. It takes weeks of work before a person can begin assembling the clues from each discovery into meaningful pictures of the past. As a result, students should expect the work to be exacting, often slow, and physically challenging, as one develops professional skills over time. We work eight-hour days in all conditions, five days a week throughout the six-week summer course.
What will I learn?
During the Summer Field School, students will learn a wide range of archaeological field methods and gain proficiency using important equipment and tools. Examples of what team members learn include the following:
- consulting documents, maps, aerial photos, and oral history during excavation and survey
- using traditional mapping technologies, along with new technologies, such as Global Position Systems (GPS) and digital Total Station (EDM) tools, in mapping landscape details such as walls, structures, and roadways
- working with Shovel Test Pit survey for data recovery, including appropriate sampling methodology to ensure that artifacts are representative of the larger area
- ethically driven decision making about artifact collection, cleaning, identification, analyses, and conservation, considering industrial archaeological sites in particular
- working with stakeholders of the site in the responsible conduct of public scholarship and research with industrial heritage, including legal and ethical issues surrounding industrial communities, sites, and landscapes.
Current MTU Students
Michigan Tech undergraduate students can use the field school to fulfill up to 6 credits for several general education degree requirements: HASS Creative Endeavor, FES Environmental Electives, Performance Activities, SSS Anthropology/Archaeology Electives, and World Cultures. Prior to enrolling, please confirm with your academic advisor that the credits will count toward the desired degree requirements.
- Register for the Field Archaeology course on Banweb. The undergraduate course number is SS3210, and the graduate course number is SS5700.
- Download the Summer 2017 Field School Application Form, complete it, and email it to LouAnn Wurst in the industrial archaeology program. You can repeat credits for SS3210/SS5700, so you can take this course again for credit if you have already completed a field school.
Domestic Undergraduate Students Enrolled in Outside Universities
To register for the Field Archaeology course as a guest student, complete the following steps:
- Download the Summer 2017 Field School Application Form, complete it, and email it to LouAnn Wurst in the industrial archaeology program. .
- Visit the registrar at your home university and request a guest student application form. Using your own university's form streamlines the credit transfer process. If your university does not have such a form, download the state of Michigan's Guest Student Application Form.
- Complete the appropriate guest student application form.
- Note that you may enroll in whatever number of credit hours your institution requires. For example, some universities require their students to complete 4 credit hours of field school training. You should enroll for the number of credits appropriate to your home department’s or university's requirements.
- You may need to take the form to your university's registrar, and they will certify your application and forward the form to Michigan Tech’s undergraduate admissions office; confirm this step with the registrar. You may be required to pay a $30 application fee. Tech’s admissions office will submit the form to the registrar’s office. If you have questions about registering for this course, email Tech’s registrar’s office or call 906-487-2319.
International students could participate on a tourist visa, since the Field Archaeology course only lasts for seven weeks. Download the Summer 2017 Field School Application Form, complete it, and email it to LouAnn Wurst in the industrial archaeology program. You should contact your home university's international studies coordinator or Michigan Tech’s International Programs and Services office.
Michigan Tech has a number of international cooperative and exchange agreements that can facilitate guest students from around the world. We encourage prospective students to email International Programs and Services for advice.