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Archaeological Field School

This initiative will help people to understand the history right under their feet, informing the daily lives of Chicagoans past, present, and future. -Professor Rebecca GraffThis initiative will help people to understand the history right under their feet, informing the daily lives of Chicagoans past, present, and future. -Professor Rebecca Graff

Lake Forest College is pleased to be the recipient of a $800,000, four-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to involve students and faculty in urban archaeological digs in Chicago, and in complementary coursework in various disciplines.

Urban archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Rebecca Graff will lead the archaeological digs, the first of which will take place July 6–31, 2015 at the Charnley-Persky House in Chicago, in partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians, one of several project partners.

This course—SOAN 205: Archaeological Field School—is your chance to join the dig.

City On The Make, City In The Dirt

“Urban archaeology allows us to bring the past to light in ways that inform our present understandings of our great American cities,” said Graff.

“Chicago deserves to have its stories told before we lose them to construction and development. This initiative will help people to understand the history right under their feet, informing the daily lives of Chicagoans past, present, and future.”

Let’s Do It Together

Pauline Saliga, Executive Director of the Society of Architectural Historians sees similar opportunities: “We look forward to working with Professor Graff and her students to unearth new household artifacts and to use them to interpret life in 19th-century Chicago. As a learned society, SAH recognizes the importance of such cooperative ventures that are rooted in serious research and are opportunities to mentor undergraduates in the art of critical thinking.”

Course Description

SOAN 205: Arch­­­aeological Field School 

Archaeological Field School introduces students to the discipline of archaeology, with an emphasis on fieldwork and excavation. Students will serve as the field crew on an archaeological dig in Chicago, with lectures, readings, workshops, and field trips providing the theoretical and historical context for the archaeological methods. Students will learn excavation, recording, laboratory and analytical techniques via some traditional coursework but, most significantly, through participation. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with these techniques, discuss the implications of their findings, and compare them with the research and ideas of professional archaeologists.

First priority is given to Lake Forest College students. Non- Lake Forest College students will be sent additional information upon selecting this course. 

Faculty

Rebecca Graff
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Areas of Study: historical archaeology, U.S. urban archaeology (19th- and 20th-century Chicago), modern and contemporary material culture, world’s fairs and expositions, anthropology of time and temporality, archaeology of tourism