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Teaching the Craft of Archaeology: Theory, Practice, and the Field School

Mark Walker and Dean J. Saitta
International Journal of Historical Archaeology
Vol. 6, No. 3 (September 2002), pp. 199-207
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20853004
Page Count: 9
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Teaching the Craft of Archaeology: Theory, Practice, and the Field School
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Abstract

Field schools are a rite of passage for archaeologists, the first experience of what for many is the defining activity of the discipline: fieldwork. While teaching competence in practical techniques is the minimum goal of any field school, this technical training must be situated within the broader goals that drive the fieldwork. The University of Denver Archaeological Field School provides the fieldwork for the Colorado Coal Field War Archaeological Project. This project is an experiment in archaeology as political action in the present. It explores the possibility of an emancipatory archaeology through engagement with contemporary audiences and struggles. In this paper we discuss some of the ways we try to link technical training with the admittedly unusual theoretical and political goals of the project, teaching not only skills but an awareness of the responsibilities these skills should bring.

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