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Archaeology Opportunities

There are multiple opportunities for students interested in archaeology. New this summer, the Public Archaeology Institute invites rising 9th through 12th graders to work alongside archaeologists. The department also collaborates with Williamsburg & Mary to offer field schools.

Colonial Williamsburg Public Archaeology Institute

Program Overview

The Colonial Williamsburg Department of Archaeology introduces the Public Archaeology Institute (PAI). This unique program invites students, entering grades 9-12, to work alongside archaeologists in the field and explore the connections between documentary and archeological evidence, and how they work together to convey a unified interpretation in a public history setting.

In each session of the PAI, students will receive approximately six hours of “class time,” during which a history of Custis Square and Williamsburg’s Public Hospital will be examined along various artifacts types, including ceramics, architectural materials, faunal remains, and small finds. Students will spend the remainder of the week practicing archaeological field methods, site recording, and interpretation of findings through hands-on field work and speaking with visitors. The week will conclude in a site tour showcase, in which each student will guide one archaeological site tour for visitors, family members, and friends. Each 30-minute tour will discuss the site’s history, project objectives, and observations made in the field. Certificates and PAI t-shirts will be awarded upon successful completion of PAI learning objectives.

The Summer 2021 Institute has been filled.

Field schools

Program Overview

For more than 30 years, College of William and Mary students have learned excavation techniques and recording, as well as the identification of common eighteenth-century artifacts at Colonial Williamsburg field schools. This summer we will examine a site containing multiple overlapping structures dating from the 1600s through the early 20th century.

This class provides students with practical training in archaeological field methods and public historic site interpretation. Students will participate in the surveying, recording and excavation of an active archaeological site. Participants in this course will learn how to: perform archaeological excavation techniques, identify archaeological artifacts and features and effectively communicate archaeological results to members of the public.


Session 1
June 1st- July 2nd 2021

Session 2
July 6th-August 6th 2021

Sign Up

For more info on how to sign up for this course email jdcarlson@wm.edu

Click Here for more information.