SASSA in the Field, beginning in 2020, is our fieldwork-based program. Our first project will be a community-based archaeology program, which will run 4-weeks. High school students have the opportunity to take part in archaeological surveys, excavations, and research. Ideal candidates include high school freshmen and sophomores who will have the ability to participate in the program as leaders in subsequent years. Our partner for this project, the University of Minnesota’s Heritage Studies and Public History program, provides external internships for their graduate students to get involved with SASSA in the Field as archaeological technicians. In the future, this program will expand to include other types of fieldwork-based research, such as projects focused on biology, ecology, or geology.
The first week of this project will take place in the classroom and provide a thorough overview of Minnesota Archaeology and essential explanations of archaeological field techniques to be employed in subsequent weeks. During weeks two and three, participants will actively take part in the excavation of an archaeological site in the Twin Cities metro area. Students will participate in setting-up the excavation, hand excavation of sediments, screening of sediments, and documentation in the field. In the final week, students will return to the classroom for hands-on activities such as artifact cleaning, analysis, and curation. At the end of the program, students will have the ability to continue their work of artifact analysis and assist in the reporting of the site excavation through the YERP program or as independent research projects.
The goal of this program is to teach students how to engage meaningfully with the past. By National Registrar of Historic Places (NRHP) standards, historic is 50 years before today which is within the lifetime of a lot of individuals they know. A broad understanding will lead to more meaningful conversations with other community members, stimulating interest in both the students and the community. To encourage this engagement, for two days the excavations will be open to family members and the community so that they may visit, ask questions, and share their own knowledge of the past. Want to get involved? Fill out our online interest form!
Applicants will apply for the program by providing a short written or video essay on the nature of their interest and include the accompanying requirement that a guardian or other individual will be able to provide reliable transportation to/from the site for the duration of the program.