Volunteering for archaeological fieldwork can be a very rewarding experience. It can be frustrating for a person who would like to experience archaeology in a field setting, but lacks the available resources to do so.  Here are a few links that can help the beginner or seasoned professional gain archaeological experience in just a week or more depending on your commitment.

If you are looking for volunteer fieldwork, look at an online forum. There is an Archaeology Volunteer Opportunities listing where you can read volunteer announcements or post your own inquiry. The link is https://archaeologyfieldwork.com/  This website is an excellent resource for volunteer fieldwork as well as field schools.

If you are interested in working for a week in a National Forest doing free archaeology, excavation and surveying, then this is the best site: http://www.passportintime.com/  The Passport in Time project is hosted by the US Forest Service. Certain forests throughout the US that have a heritage team working for them will provide weeks during the summer for volunteer crews to come out and help on excavations. Volunteers from all over the world come to participate and it is a great program. 

An area of important research is “Dental Analysis in Archaeology.” Several methods of studying teeth and wear on teeth can help display the age of both humans and animals. Teeth can show a lot about the history of a person or animal that is being studied because they portray a large number of pathological conditions that can give a background of the organism’s life. Enamel is also sometimes the only thing that survives on an organism in an archeological sense.

If you are interested in obtaining field school experience for your archaeology/anthropology classwork, then you can find field schools here: https://www.archaeological.org/fieldwork  Most charge a fee for tuition and/or lodging and equipment.

Other resources for learning more about California archaeology are the Anza Borrego Foundation and Colorado Desert Archaeological Society, the California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program or the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society.

For more information or questions, email Richard Fitzgerald, Senior State Archaeologist at Richard.Fitzgerald@parks.ca.gov