Archaeology Field Methods

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ANT 293

       Course Name: Archaeology Field Methods

       Credits: 3 (1 lecture; 6 lab) Fee: $45

II.    Prerequisite

Consent of the instructor

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course presents archaeological field techniques.  Content includes instruction in excavation, recording, surveying and mapping; research design methods, laboratory analysis and the preparation of research reports.  Class conducted at approved archaeological site.  Focus is on field work supplemented with lectures and discussions, taught at variety of approved archaeology locations, both inside and outside of United States.

IV.   Learning Objectives

In this course students will:
  1. learn the professional terminology of archaeology.
  2. develop skill in archaeology field techniques, including survey, mapping, laboratory work, and excavations.
  3. demonstrate an awareness of the ethics of fieldwork in archaeology, and apply these ethics in their research design and fieldwork.
  4. demonstrate the ability to design a research project, that is, use appropriate methodology, collect data, and produce a finished product in written form.
  5. demonstrate the understanding of the value of archaeological fieldwork, the scientific process, and the process from which data is acquired and transformed into the body of archaeological knowledge and theory.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Theory of archaeology
  2. Archaeological fieldwork techniques (mapping, survey and excavation)
  3. Methods and techniques of laboratory analysis
  4. Drawing conclusions from fieldwork data and placing them into a larger framework of archaeological knowledge and theory

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods include lecture, discussion, and actual survey, mapping and excavation.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students must participate in all areas of archaeological work:  theory, research design, survey, mapping, excavations, laboratory work, and reports.  Students will be required to write and be graded on the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material, likely in the form of field research reports.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Hester, Thomas (2002).  Field Methods in Archaeology (7th ed.).  Mayfield Publishing Company.

Other texts may also be used as supplemental reading pertaining to the geographical region being excavated.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Students will be graded on fieldwork, laboratory work and an individual report.

XI.   Other Course Information

Important dates to remember.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.