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El Salvador

Program Director: Dr. Jeffrey Glover

This program provides students with a unique study abroad opportunity that will expose them to archaeological field methods.  Hands-on experience in the field is critical for students who are interested in pursuing a career in archaeology.  The students will be participating in the Archaeological Atlas Project of Eastern El Salvador.  This project is under the direction of Dr. Fabio E. Amador Berdugo, a close colleague of the program director. 

As part of this project, the students will be learning the basic skills needed to be a competent field archaeologist and will be interacting with students from the National University of El Salvador.  These skills include mapping of sites with both an Electronic Total Station as well as more traditional tools such as a compass and measuring tape.  Maps serve as baseline data for any archaeological project.  The students will also be conducting excavations at a number of the sites.  The excavations will recover pottery and other artifacts that will aid in dating the occupation phases of the sites.  In addition, the students will be help in the cleaning and cataloging of the artifacts in the laboratory, another basic archaeological skill. 

Along with the physical experience of conducting archaeological fieldwork, there will be a series of lectures over the month in the field.  These lectures will discuss specific methodological issues, such as Geographic Information System applications to archaeological data or ceramic classification, and will position the students’ daily work in its broader archaeological context.  In addition to the lectures and the fieldwork, there will be a few organized fieldtrips to famous archaeological sites in El Salvador, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Joya de Cerén (the Pompeii of the New World).  The overall benefits for the students will be a holistic introduction to archaeological field practices and a valuable life experience associated with living and working in a foreign country.

ANTH 2030 or by special permission of the instructor.

Expected Dates:
May 2009