Archaeological Field School

Field School in Prehistoric Archaeology at Woodpecker Cave, Coralville Reservoir

Field School in Prehistoric Archaeology at Woodpecker Cave, Coralville Reservoir
May 14, 2018 - June 8, 2018 (except Memorial Day holiday)

ANTH:3295:0001 Field Research in Archaeology
For those with no prior archaeological field experience
No prerequisites for Workshop 1
Enrollment: 16

ANTH:3295:0002 Field Research in Archaeology
For those with prior archaeological field experience
Previous field experience for Workshop 2
Enrollment: 4

Workshops 1 and 2 run concurrently.

Woodpecker Cave is a perfect first archaeological field experience, with a low threshold of accessibility and access. The cave shows evidence of occupation from the Archaic Period, about 7000 or 8,000 years ago, through the late Woodland Period, around 400 to 800 AD. Artifacts include pottery, stone tools, animal bones, mussel shells, fire-cracked rock and other artifacts.

Students will learn up-to-date techniques of excavation and recording, get experience in analysis and artifact curation,  and gain skills that will serve in a wide variety of future of archaeological jobs. In particular, students will be trained on Electron Distance Measurer (EDM) mapping through computer programs, both for topographic maps of the area and for recording precise 3-D locations of artifacts for studies of spatial structure. All necessary field equipment and recording forms for the field school will be supplied. Students will be evaluated based on participation, learning, and practice of excavation and recording techniques.

The site is located at Coralville Reservoir, about 15 minutes north of Iowa City. Students are responsible for their own lodging and meals. At 3 semester hours, all students pay in-state tuition and fees ($1243.25, pending Regents' approval) and a supplemental fee ($237.50, pending University approval) for transportation and materials, for a total of $1480.75 If you are eligible for a Summer Hawk Tuition Grant, that total can be reduced by $936.00 to $544.75.

If interested in attending this Field School, please fill out the attached form and email to

Course Instructors

  • Dr. James Enloe (Department of Anthropology, University of Iowa),
  • Teaching Assistant: TBA