Archaeological Field Methods



Archaeology of the Native and African American Community
in Setauket, New York

The Center for Public Archaeology at Hofstra University is running an archaeological field school during summer 2011 researching the history and archaeology of the Native and African American community of Setauket on Long Island, New York. Descendants of the Setalcott Nation and enslaved Africans, members of this community have been residents of the Setauket area since the 17th century. Over the subsequent centuries, this community formed a substantial component of the working community in the larger region while maintaining key features of their own cultural traditions and history. Students will learn the details of this history, contribute to documenting new information from the archaeological and historical records, and help present the project's findings to the public.

The field school is part of a collaborative historical, cultural, and archaeological project between Higher Ground Intercultural and Heritage Association, a descendant community-based nonprofit preservation organization, and Hofstra University. The summer 2011 field school program will be based at the Jacob and Hannah Hart site, a home site occupied from ca. 1870 to 1930 by one of the community's most well-known families. Field school students will work with community members to survey, excavate, and analyze the findings from the Hart site. Students will also conduct documentary research in local archives and help to document private collections of community members.


Anthropology 33. Archaeological Field Methods
Semester Hours: 3-6

An intensive hands-on introduction to the ideas, techniques, and methods used in archaeological field research. Students will participate in an archaeological excavation and be trained in the foundations of archaeological field testing and analysis. Students will learn the history of excavation techniques and theories, and receive a practical introduction to the development of archaeological research questions and the field and laboratory strategies used to answer these in fieldwork and analysis.

Prerequisite(s)/Course Notes:
Permission of instructor required. If the course is given during the January session, it will be offered for 3 s.h.; if the course is offered during the summer session, it will be offered for 3 or 6 s.h., depending on site access.

For more information

Professor Chris Matthews

Department of Anthropology
Hofstra University