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Department of Anthropology

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Anthropology & Archaeology Field Opportunities

UIndy Anthropology & Archaeology students have a variety of field opportunities available.

UIndy archaeology students have the unique opportunity of learning from more than just textbooks and labs—they are able to get actual field work experience. Sites often involve collaborative research and can be located across the country. Current sites include:

Spanish Mission on Sapelo Island

Dr. Moore, along with Dr. Richard Jefferies of the University of Kentucky, has been searching for a lost Spanish mission on Sapelo Island off the coast of Georgia. The Sapelo mission was abandoned in 1684, and since that time historians, explorers and archaeologists have discussed a number of potential locations for the site.

Drs. Moore and Jefferies' work began in 2003 when a UK field school discovered mission period Spanish artifacts near the 4,500-year-old shell rings they were investigating. Since then, survey, excavations and geophysical work conducted north of the shell rings have provided ample support that the mission was located in this area.

Future research will involve continued survey and excavation of mission period Spanish and Native American middens and structures. Drs. Moore and Jefferies are interested in examining the nature of Spanish and Guale Indian culture change and the influence of interactions among individuals from disparate cultures on material culture. Dr. Moore often seeks the assistance of students interested in surveying and excavating other portions of Sapelo, including prehistoric archaeological sites. Other potential projects include comparative studies of late prehistoric coastal Georgia and ceramic and clay sourcing studies.

Wildcat Archaeological Research Project (WARP)

The Wildcat Archaeological Research Project (WARP) is a long-term archaeological research project charged with the investigation and definition of archaeological phases and historical developments in Carroll, Clinton, Tippecanoe, White, Cass, and Howard counties.

The first project completed under WARP was a survey of an early 19th century community and brick kiln at Xenia, Indiana. The major aim of the Xenia research is to investigate how small towns in Northern Indiana were connected (or not) with larger communities and how these connections changed as regional populations grew and economic opportunities expanded. Dr. Moore is also concerned with understanding the conditions by which some small communities have maintained their distinct identities while many others have since disappeared.

In 2013, Dr. Moore began a research project with the Carroll County Historical Society and the Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal Association to locate the site of the 1825 Daniel Baum homestead. Daniel Baum was a leading member of the early Carroll County community, and his property hosted the first Carroll County courts and the first store. The site, now called Baum’s Landing, has been located and excavations are ongoing. Students from Dr. Moore’s courses regularly visit the Baum’s Landing site to hone their mapping, surveying, and excavation skills. In addition to the early 19th century farmstead, investigations at the site are recording a 19th and 20th century dairy farm and early 20th century interurban line.

In addition to the Baum’s Landing project, recent WARP research includes lab analysis of a Native American site in Carroll County and a farmstead in Tippecanoe County, survey to locate the Benjamin Angell site (another early 19th century farmstead in Carroll County), and geophysical investigations of an early pioneer cemetery in Delphi, Indiana.

Field School

Nearly every year the department hosts its own archaeology field school. This is a four-to eight-week opportunity to excavate at an archaeological site. Previous field school locations have included a mastodon dig in Flora, Ind.; investigations of early pioneer life at the Xenia site; excavations at a large prehistoric Indian village in Greenup County, Ky.; and survey and excavations of Mission period communities on Sapelo Island, Ga. 

This year’s field school will involve an 8-week long excavation of an early 19th century burned structure identified at the Baum’s Landing site in Carroll County, Indiana. The structure, which consists of a burned ash layer beneath about 3 feet of overburden, is associated with abundant artifacts and animal bones. This year’s work is designed to identify the structure’s size and test whether the building was a detached kitchen.