The Montpelier Archaeology Field School recently came in 2nd place in the SHA Diversity Field School Competition, and makes a concerted effort to encourage the participation of African American students in our program through the field school and internship program. The Field School runs from May 29-June 29, 2018, and focuses on the grounds of James Madison’s Montpelier Plantation, with a particular focus on the lives of the African Americans who were enslaved on the property. Students can take the field school for credit through James Madison University or SUNY-Plattsburgh with an additional $400 fee to Montpelier, or enroll for no-credit for $650 Montpelier Fee, which includes housing and equipment. African American students can apply for the field school scholarship, which waives the Montpelier related fee – this means students and recent graduates can attend the field school for no cost.
Recent graduates who take the archaeology field school can also apply for the Montpelier Archaeology Internship Program. This program accepts five recent graduates to work as part of the Montpelier staff. Participants are paid and receive full benefits, including health insurance, sick, and vacation time. Housing is also included. The internship lasts from the end of field school until April 30, 2019, and interns receive training in field and lab methods, public archaeology, working with descendant communities, and gain professional experience working in archaeology and at a museum. They also work on a research project, presenting at the Mid Atlantic Archaeological Conference. This is an excellent stepping stone for young archaeologists looking to break into the archaeological discipline: many of our former interns are working professionally in the field or attending graduate school!