Field School

The anthropology department offers field schools and overseas study trips in most years. Archaeological field schools, which can be taken for variable credit, occur during the summer session and typically last four to six weeks. Previous and ongoing field sites include excavations at the Broken Mammoth site, and prehistoric and contact period sites in the Aleutians and south-central Alaska. 

2016 UAA Archaeological Field School at the Gold Cord Mine

Second Summer Session, June 27-July 22


The Department of Anthropology will be offering a field school in historical archaeology at the Gold Cord Mine, Hatcher Pass, Alaska. Located adjacent to Independence Mine State Historic Park, the Gold Cord Mine is a rare intact example of a small-scale gold mining operation once common throughout the state. Much of the 1930's era landscape remains visible, including bunkhouses, maintenance sheds, mine workings, and a processing mill with all its equipment intact. The site has remained within family ownership, and its present owner ran the operation for a time. This provides a singular opportunity to learn about historic mining practice from what remains and from some of the people who helped create it.

The 2016 field school will focus on the documentation of aboveround features. Students will gain experience in surveying techniques from plane-table mapping to the use of a total station and photography. Students will also learn techniques for documenting standing structures, including the Gold Cord Mill. There will be opportunities for archival and oral historical research, and hikes to the area mines. Field components will be suppliemented with lecutres on mining history and the documentation of industrial landscapes.

The course, ANTH A431, will be run as a 4-credit class and take place during four weeks in the second summer session, from June 27 through to July 22, with approximately three weeks spent in the field. Outside of credit costs, the course includes a fee of $350 to cover materials, insurance, and the cost of food while in the field. Acommidations may involve camping, and will likely require bringing personal gear like sleeping bags and sleeping pads.

Instructor permission is required for enrollment, so start by sending your CV to Dr. Paul White at

Course listings and online registration are at If not already enrolled at UAA, UAF, or UAS you must first register as a non--degree seeking student through

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