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The Field School was founded in 1980 by Dr. James W. Jordan. In 2012 the Longwood University Board of Visitors named the Field School in his honor to recognize Dr. Jordan’s continuing contributions to science, his students, the University, and the cultures that he has helped illuminate through archaeological research.
Since its founding in 1980, the Field School has provided students with the opportunity to engage in archaeological research projects throughout the academic year in addition to the program’s signature archaeological research projects conducted during the summer Archaeology Field School experience. Students in the Field School have participated in fieldwork throughout Virginia as well as in the British Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom.
Students learn the basics of archaeological fieldwork including how to identify and evaluate archaeological sites, methods of recording archaeological data, and basic excavation techniques. Beyond the basics, students may increase their knowledge and skills through a number of advanced archaeology courses that provide training in archaeological surveying, theory, and methods as well as in the organization and management of archaeological fieldwork.
The Field School engages in a variety of research projects throughout the year and advanced students are encouraged to partner with faculty and entry-level students on these projects to enhance learning for all. Many of these projects are conducted in conjunction with the Peter Francisco Chapter of the Archaeological Society of Virginia (ASV). Student learning is further enhanced by the student-run Primitive Technology Club or Prim-Tech. This experimental archaeology program helps students to develop an understanding of technologies from the past through experimentation and replication studies.
Our program includes an array of courses offered throughout the academic year that provide students with the opportunity to expand their training in a variety of ways. In addition to our course offerings, students may choose to participate in a variety of activities such as periodic weekend excavations conducted by faculty on sites around the greater Farmville area.
Students are given the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects through the academic year, as well as during the summer. In 2010 students went to the British Virgin Islands and researched the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Virgin Island Group. The Longwood Archaeology Field School was established in 1980 by Dr. James W. Jordan to offer students hands-on, practical training in archaeological field methods and techniques.