Archaeology Field School 2014

2013dig.jpgWhen:  June 10 to 28
            June 30 to July 5 optional add-on week

Where: The Speaker's House ~ Directions

Led by: Dr. Lydia Garver, Consulting Archaeologist

For more information:
Email Lisa Minardi at

Join us for the sixth annual Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House, home of Frederick Muhlenberg. Built in 1763 by German immigrant John Schrack, the house was owned by the Muhlenberg family from 1781 to 1803. Other notable owners include Charles Albrecht, an early piano maker; Dr. Lewis Royer; and Ursinus College, who used the house as a dormitory from 1924 to 1944. This complex history, along with the site’s remarkable preservation, makes it an exciting place to conduct archaeological research.  The Speaker’s House is also important as the location of a general store, built in 1782 by Frederick Muhlenberg, and is one of the few archaeological sites in the region that yields information on commercial as well as domestic activities. This year’s field school will focus on the area surrounding the original kitchen wing, built in the 1760s, including the foundation of the bake oven.  Students will also conduct shovel tests in an area where an authentic Pennsylvania German kitchen garden is planned.

The field school is an intensive three-week program that runs June 10–28 on a Tuesday through Saturday schedule from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Participants will receive training in excavation techniques, record keeping, artifact identification, processing, cataloging, and classification. Optional field trips and guest lectures will also be offered. No previous experience is necessary. The field school is open to anyone age 15 or over.  

Three college credits are available to students who enroll in the field school through Montgomery County Community College (MCCC).  To enroll, students must register as a guest student through MCCC and pay all applicable tuitions and fees.  To register, you will need to enter department code ANT, course number 120, section number AW, course title Archaeology Field School, and credits 3.

Enrollment is limited to 20 participants.  Preference will be given to students taking the course for credit through MCCC, but additional spots may be available for those who do not enroll.  If you would like to participate but do not want to take the course for credit through MCCC, please submit an application form to The Speaker’s House, and we will notify you if space is available.  

A non-credit, optional add-on week is also being offered this year from June 30 to July 5 (with a break on July 4).  This fourth week will focus on artifact processing, including cleaning, washing, sorting, labeling, cataloging, and storage preparation.  Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about historic preservation and assist with various hands-on restoration projects at The Speaker’s House.



Costs & Lodging:

Tuition and fees charged by MCCC vary depending on residency.  Below is a list of the current Summer 2014 total tuition and fees per credit.  More information.

Montgomery County residents: $150/credit
Pennsylvania out-of-county residents: $285/credit
Non-Pennsylvania residents: $420/credit

All students who register with MCCC must also pay a $75 supply fee in addition to the above per-credit tuition and fees.

The participation fee for those who do not take the field school for credit through MCCC is $300, which covers all necessary tools, equipment, and supplies.  There is no charge to participate only in the optional add-on week.

All participants will receive a complimentary 2014 student membership in The Speaker’s House.

Housing will be available at Ursinus College for out-of-town participants.  If you are interested in housing, please notify us at by May 15.  The anticipated cost for a shared dorm room is approximately $110/week per person.  Single rooms may be available for an additional rate but are not guaranteed.



Prior Year Highlights:  2013  ~~  2012  ~~  2011  ~~  2010