Topic ID #36625 - posted 1/19/2016 12:06 PM

James Madison's Montpelier 2016 Field School


Our field schools and internships are designed for students with an interest in archaeology and an interest to obtain some intensive field experience. Excavations for the 2016 field season will be focused on Montpelier's South Yard, the location of the domestic slave quarters and work yard. This area includes well preserved archaeological deposits from the first quarter of the 19th century, when Madison implemented a picturesque landscape design at Montpelier. This included a series of buildings, including three duplex slave dwellings, two smokehouses, and a detached kitchen, that made up the South Yard. 


During the 2016 excavations, archaeology team members will continue to locate the yards and structures of the slave quarters and outbuildings that were used in the mid-19th century. These excavations will reveal a myriad of ceramics, glasswares, and other objects used and owned by the enslaved community at Montpelier. During the 2016 field season our excavations will focus on a duplex slave dwelling and an detached kitchen.

The Montpelier Archaeology Department is offering two field schools this summer!


2016 Field School Dates:

·         May 15-June 10

·         June 19-July 15

(see the following link collections/archaeology/archaeology-programs/archeology-field-schools).


Course Credit:

Students can enroll in either field school session to receive 4 (JMU) or 5 (SUNY) academic credits. You can either apply for course credit through James Madison University (JMU) or SUNY Plattsburgh (SUNY). We also have non-credit options!





We have housing available on the property for field school students. Follow the link to see pictures of Arlington House ( antebellum home located on the estate's historic grounds. Sleeping facilities are dormitory style with rooms being separated by gender.


At Arlington House, Field School Students have access to:

·         two kitchens

·         laundry facilities

·         dining room

·         living room

·         screen porch

·         eight bedrooms

·         six bathrooms




We also have an internship program for students who have successfully completed our archaeological field school, for more information on that program, see: Paid internships are offered on a limited and competitive basis based on field school performance and an interview conducted near the end of their field school.  Interns work through the end of the summer, and have the option to stay on as long term interns through the fall and into the spring.


If you are interested in the internship, the first field school offers the best opportunity for an extended summer experience. Internship possibilities for those taking the second field school are more limited unless you can stay into the fall.




If you are looking for more information about the field school or are interested in applying, please email



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