Field School: Mono Mills Historical Archaeology Project, California

Director & Contact: Dr Charlotte Sunseri; Department of Anthropology, SJSU, San Jose, California 95192-0113; email:

Sponsors:  San Jose State University

Dates: July 2-27, 2012

Apply by: 1 May or until spaces filled

Team: 4 staff and 10 students

Experience: None necessary, but students with a background in archaeology or history are more likely to be accepted.

Academic credit:  Archaeological Site Excavation (ANTH 169): three credit hours

Cost: $3855 – includes tuition, fees, room and board (see below)

Board & lodging: Accommodation provided (shared)

Health/insurance: Medical insurance and an up to date Tetanus shot required.

Project: This field school will engage students in hands-on archaeological study at Mono Mills, California.  Mono Mills is a historic, Gold Rush town located just south of Mono Lake and occupied from 1880-1915 to provide wood to the metropolis of Bodie. In this town Kuzedika Paiute, Chinese, and Euro-American settlers made their home and worked together in the railroad and mill industries. The focus of this research will include exploration of ethnic, class-based, and gendered identity expression, labor and power dynamics among workers, and interactions between Native American and immigrant groups living in this culturally pluralistic community.

This course is part of an ongoing, multiyear field study at Mono Mills to provide student training opportunities. Highlights of the field school include training in excavation and artifact recovery, surface survey, non-invasive technologies including ground penetrating radar, site map development, artifact analysis, documentary and archival research, and oral history interviews. The oral history interviews will focus on Kuzedika tribal members who grew up at Mono Mills, any descendents of Chinese townsfolk who can be identified, and members of the Mono Basin Historical Society.

Accommodation is included in the cost, and students will be staying in a research apartment in Lee Vining, CA. Breakfast and lunch will be the responsibility of each student to provide daily, and catered dinners for weeknights will be provided (included in cost). Students will be required to bring basic field equipment and personal archaeology equipment (lists will be provided in informational meetings). Carpools are encouraged for transportation from San Jose to Lee Vining, and daily transportation to the field site will be provided by the University. Students should plan to arrive at the research apartment during the day of July 1.

Course Description: Artifact recovery and analysis during archaeological field project. All phases of professional archaeological practice leading to publication of findings. Prerequisite: ANTH 13 or instructor consent.

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