Each summer, the Texas Archeological Society (TAS) sponsors an archeological field school to provide training in archeological techniques. During the week-long event, there are many fun activities and learning opportunities for all ages, including excavation techniques, survey methods, a youth program, and special training for newcomers and teachers. Each year, the field school offers a chance to visit a different part of Texas and learn about the early people who lived within that regional environment. Occasionally, the field school will be held two years in the same location. During the week of field school, new friendships are forged, others are renewed, and our collective work makes important contributions to the archeological and historical record.
At the beginning of field school, a base camp is established for a small city of tents, tent trailers and sometimes recreational vehicles. Additionally, hotel accommodations and RV parks are usually available nearby. The field school spans eight days and is led by professional archeologists and trained avocationals. Participants may register for a minimum of three days or for the full week and choose excavation, survey, or the laboratory. Total field school attendance can vary between 200 to 500 people, annually. If you choose excavation, you will learn proper procedures and documentation of sites. If you choose survey, you learn how to locate, map and record historical and prehistorical sites. At the laboratory, you will participate in proper cleaning and artifact recording which are the basics of curation. Each workday begins in the field at 7:00 A.M. and ends at 1:00 P.M.
The afternoons and evenings are free time to rest, enjoy activities offered in the local area, participate in educational workshops and programs or just socialize with friends. Afternoon programs are aimed at instructional topics such as flint knapping or metal detecting. After supper prepared by the camp cooks, the evening programs focus on archeology, geology, history of the area, or topics of local interest to the membership. Later, participants can often find a friendly sing-a-long in camp.
Throughout the week, special events, workshops and demonstrations will be held at or near the campground. They vary from year to year, but be assured that you will have a chance to participate in one or more this summer! A new event, Archeolympics, offers competition in atlatl dart throwing, throwing rabbit sticks, primitive fire-starting, and other challenging events.
To get involved in Texas Archeology, register now for this year’s field school! Several Field School Scholarships are available. Follow these links for details on This Year’s Field School, General Information and Camp, Excavation, Survey and Lab activities. These pages will contain descriptions of what to bring and recommended readings