The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Anthropology Field Schools

The Department of Anthropology currently runs a summer bio-archaeological field school in Western Massachusetts:

Information for Summer 2023


May 30 - July 12, 2023  (Application Deadline to Apply is April 21, 2023)
(Class will run M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no class on Juneteenth and Independence Day) 

Dr. Ventura Pérez, Director
Dr. Sarah Reedy, Program Faculty
$500/credit @ 6 credits

Course Description:
This course introduces students to the role of the biological anthropologist, archaeologist, and forensic scientist in excavations of human remains. The field school is particularly unique because we work in collaboration with the UMass Chan Medical School's Division of Translational Anatomy and Anatomical Gift Program.  Students will also receive lectures from experts in political science, fedeal Indian law, historical archaeology, the U.S. State Department, and law enforcement.

The course will be divided into three units. The first unit will introduce students to field and laboratory techniques, including osteology, recognizing what constitutes bioarchaeological or forensic data, and biolence theory.  Students will participate in lectures and lab exercises at both Umass Amherst and at the UMass Chan Medical School.  The second unit will consist of excavations of a pseudo-crime scene and pseudo-archaelogical burial.  The thirs unit will focus on laboratory techniques used to analyze the biolofical profile and write the lab report of the two excavation sites, as well as the design and build of the following year's burial site.  Throughout the course we will explore key concepts in ethics, violence theory, socio-cultural constructs left on the body, repatritation, medicolegal death investigation and regulations regarding unmarked burials.

Enrollment is by permission of the instructor. Students wishing to enroll must submit an application by April 21, 2023, to: Apply Here

Dr. Ventura Pérez
Department of Anthropology
217 Machmer Hall, 240 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003

Email applications are accepted:





(Past) Information about 2020

Summer Field School in Historical Archaeology - Anthro 577 -  May 28 - June 29, 2019                                   

 2019 Field School in Historical Archaeology, Director Eric Johnson

 Julie Woods, Field Director and Martin Boersma (Anthro/Chinese 2018)

 More photos