ANTH 454/455: U of Illinois Island and Coastal Archaeology Summer Field School

Program Description

SiteThis course is a summer archaeological field school, a hands-on learning experience in archaeology. The class introduces archaeological field techniques and outlines a critical understanding of the methods and approaches by which archaeology and heritage are interpreted. Through exercises and participation in an archaeological research project, students will be introduced to the methods of archaeological survey, excavation, data and materials recovery, recording, and processing.

Students will be encouraged to critically examine how archaeological knowledge is constructed and expressed. Because the class is held in a remote location, students are also required to learn to live and work together as a group while they contribute to the success of a long-term archaeological research project. 


Location: Sapelo Island, Georgia
  • Survey and excavate multiple sites on the Georgia Coast
  • Investigate how the political collapse and abandonment of a neighboring region affected Native Americans living on the Georgia Coast during the 14th century.
  • Work to help answer the question: How did immigrants adjust to life and community in the coastal environment?
  • Summer Session 2
You Will Learn:
  • Shovel Test Survey
  • Block Excavation
  • Topographic Mapping
  • Shallow Geophysical Survey, such as Ground Penetrating Radar
  • Research Design and Implementation
  • Artifact Processing, Identification, and other Laboratory Methods


Program Information

  • Download the syllabus for this course or check out the course flyer.
  • Interested students need to fill the application form, sign the disclaimer and email it to Dr. Ritchison before March 31st.

For more information contact Dr. Brandon T. Ritchison at


Program Cost & Funding


Photo Gallery

Sunset on Sapelo