Friday, July 02, 2010

Archaeology Field School

Caribbean - (Volunteer) St. Vincent and the Grenadines Public Archaeology Program

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates
Application Deadline
Start Date 2011-01-09
End Date 2011-02-05

Multiple Sessions YES
Multiple Session information
Volunteers can sign up for weekly sessions (Sunday to Saturday), or for multiple sessions thereof.

Archaeology Field School Location
Argyle, St. Vincent
St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG)
Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits
Sponsoring College/Institution
University of Calgary

Academic Credit

Archaeology Field School Tuition
No course credit is available at this time.

Archaeology Field School Room and Board
Included in fees, in two-bedroom apartments with full kitchens, wireless internet, free telephone to Canada, air conditioning, large patios with ocean views.

Archaeology Field School Travel
Responsibility of participant.
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs
This is a not-for-profit funding that does not have any funding from any institutions or associations. It has been put together in hopes of saving a significant archaeological site. To keep costs down, volunteers are responsible for their own airfare and course credit is not available (though we can provide a letter of participation, if necessary). Fees, inclusive of accommodations (which include above facilities), all meals, and a boat tour of the island, are $1,795 (Canadian). 

Note: as this is a not-for-profit program, if we are booked to capacity, volunteers will receive a rebate.
Archaeology Field School Description

St. Vincent is the largest of more than 30 islands that comprise St. Vincent and the Grenadines, whose closest, and more famous, neighbours are Grenada to the south, St. Lucia to the north, and Barbados to the east. St. Vincent is well known to some, being the location for filming of The Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as being a holiday destination for many celebrities who own homes in the Grenadines. Its main industry is now tourism; large cruise liners arrive in the capital of Kingstown on a regular basis. 

Construction is currently in progress for an international airport; currently, only small local planes fly in and out from neighbouring islands. The landscape of the area will be completely changed by earthworks, with major hill tops removed to fill valleys, completely changing the topography of the area.

Since construction began, a number of excavation programs have been conducted by teams from Bison Historical Services, the University of Calgary and the University of Leiden, uncovering a wealth of information that has raised numerous questions regarding the current culture history of the island, and of the Caribbean as a whole. This includes the identification of a rectangular longhouse, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, as well as numerous burials, over 700 other features, and a wealth of artifacts.

Preliminary survey of the Argyle 2 site also revealed numerous postholes, some of which appear to be in a linear pattern, as well as two burials; one appears to be that of a human in flexed position. Artifacts identified on the surface include ceramics, stone tools, beads and food remains, indicating that occupation spans from the Saladoid period to Colonial and present times. This means that Argyle 2 is potentially close to 2,000 years old.

Guests are welcome to stay longer, at the weekly fee stated above. If you would like to remain in SVG as a tourist, please do so; there is plenty to see and do in the area.
Archaeology Field School Additional Information
Archaeology Field School Type

Time Period
1 week to 4 weeks

Field School Setting/Conditions
Excavations will only require light physical labour, but participants should be prepared for work days in a hot tropical environment, with an average temperature of 30°C and only a mild ocean breeze from the nearby Atlantic.

How is the project area accessed each day
Volunteers will be transported by vehicle to and from the site.

What is the daily schedule for the field school
Volunteers will work excavate from Monday to Friday from approximately 8am to 2pm, after which they will process their finds in the lab, working until approximately 5pm.

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Is there a professional certification for this field school

Directors and Instructors
This project is affiliated with Dr. Richard Callaghan of the University of Calgary, and Iosif Moravetz, of Bison Historical Services Ltd., who have both worked extensively in St. Vincent in the last decade. The project itself will be run by previous team members Margarita de Guzman, Jode MacKay and Taylor Graham.

Margarita worked on SVG excavations during the 2009 and 2010 field seasons, and works in Alberta as a professional archaeologist and project manager. Margarita has a Master of Arts degree in Archaeology from the University of Durham, England, and has also worked on numerous sites throughout England, as well as Austria, Italy, Hungary and Armenia. 

Jode was a member of the 2009 excavation team, and is currently completing a Masters degree in Archaeology with the University of Calgary. Jode has extensive experience in survey, excavation and artefact analysis, having worked on numerous sites in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Ontario, as well as in Jordan.

Taylor was part of the 2009 and 2010 excavation teams, and has a special interest in stone tools, both in Alberta and SVG, with extensive experience in survey, excavation and artefact analysis. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Archaeology, and works as a professional archaeologist throughout Alberta.

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn
Excavation, artifact analysis, field survey, total station.

On rain days will there be lab work?

Will there be additional organized activities?

Will there be additional organized activities?

Is travel restriced during free time?

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website
Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Be sure to let them know you heard about their program on ShovelBums!

Margarita de Guzman
Suite 304, 716 3 Ave NW
Calgary, AB
T2N 0J1

Field School Contact E-mail: