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. 

Gold Cord Header


27 June - 22 July (Second Summer Session)

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 1930s-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 aboveground 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 area mines. Field components will be supplemented with lectures 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. Accommodations 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 .


Mine photos



Yakutat Bay, Summer 2013

Yakutat UAA field schoolUniversity of Alaska Anchorage archaeological field school at Yakutat Bay, Alaska, with Dr. Aron Crowell (Smithsonian Institution). Included site surveys and excavations that focused on the history of Eyak and Tlingit settlement and seal hunting around Yakutat Bay since A.D. 1100, with instruction in field techniques and Southeast Alaskan cultures. Wilderness camping and small boat travel required.

Adak, Aleutian Islands, Summer 2011

AdakContinuing the multi-year surveying and recording of archaeological sites on Adak Island. Work during the 2011 season continued surveying the western part of the island, and focused on the archaeological excavation of an inland habitation site identified the previous year. Contact Dr. Diane Hanson at or 907-786-6842 for more information.

Follow the Central Aleutians Upland Archaeology Project on Facebook!


Broken Mammoth, Summer 2010

mammothThe Broken Mammoth site is one of the oldest archaeological sites in Beringia and North America, and contains stone tools, bone and mammoth ivory tools, and well-preserved faunal remains from a variety of species: bison, wapiti, caribou, moose, small game, and birds, including a variety of waterfowl. Summer 2010 excavations at  Broken Mammoth focused on recovery of stone tools and faunal remains from late Pleistocene/early Holocene levels at the site, as well as testing the Younger Dryas sediments for possible evidence of an asteroid impact affecting human settlement.

Adak, Aleutian Islands, Summer 2010


Surveying and excavation of inland sites on Adak Island, located approximately in the center of the 1,000 mile long Aleutian chain. Work in 2010 focused on documenting the Caribou Peninsula positioned on the west side of Adak. In addition to surveying areas for upland sites, which have seen comparatively little attention by archaeologists, the 2010 field school conducted test excavations at sites located during a 2007 survey to recover information about settlement patterning. Click on the photo to be directed to the Central Aleutians Upland Archaeological Survey website.