UNB Bioarchaeology Field School

Bioarchaeology Field SchoolStarting in July 2017, a bioarchaeology field school will be offered by the Department of Anthropology in partnership with Parks Canada, at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada. Established in 1713, Louisbourg was initially an important French fishing port in the North Atlantic and then evolved into a military stronghold, transhipment centre, and the capital of Ile Royale in the 1720s. By the middle of the 18th century, Louisbourg consisted of a 60 acre fortress with additional coastal defences and a harbour lined with fishing concessions for the lucrative cod trade.  Louisbourg was successfully besieged twice, first by a New Englander force in 1745 and then by a massive British force in 1758. The second siege marked the end for Louisbourg, as the British decided to destroy the fortifications in 1760. Rochefort Point, a  narrow peninsula extending just beyond the east gate of the Fortress, was the primary burial ground for the inhabitants of Louisbourg after c.1739; however, sea level rise and coastal erosion have greatly narrowed this strip of land and the burial ground is at risk. Efforts to manage coastal erosion impacts at Louisbourg has prompted this long-term rescue excavation and analysis of these burials. This field program will offer students a multi-component, hands-on bioarchaeological field experience including excavation methods and techniques, field data recording and ethical handling practices. Additionally, students will be engaged in the technical analyses of these skeletal remains through laboratory cataloguing, analysis, curation and storage.

This program will allow students to:

  • Acquire a unique bioarchaeological skill set to complement undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Obtain critical hands-on training in field techniques specially focused on skeletal recovery in a mortuary context
  • Analyze and interpret skeletal remains within the historical framework of Louisbourg and disseminate that knowledge to the general public
  • Learn about the history of Louisbourg through lecture series and behind-the-scenes tours of the Fortress
  • Establish important ethical handling practices when working within archaeological remains
Dates, Fees, and Location

Bioarchaeology Field SchoolDates:
July 23, 2016 – August 20, 2017

Location:
Fortress of Louisbourg, Louisbourg, NS, Canada

Instructor:
Dr. Amy Scott, Assistant Professor, UNB Department of Anthropology
Graduate TAs

Transportation:
It is the responsibility of all students to be in Sydney, NS on Sunday July 23rd for pickup (pick-up location TBD). The closest airport is in Sydney and called the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Airport. All students will be brought from Sydney to our field school home on the 23rd. For departure, students will be transported back to Sydney on August 19th.

Accommodations:
We will be staying in a 3 level cottage just outside of Louisbourg. There is a full kitchen at the cottage and we will be doing regularly scheduled grocery runs for students to purchase what they need for the week. We will be having breakfast and dinner at the cottage and lunch on site at the Fort. The cottage is equipped with internet connection and a small washing machine. 

Fees:
Program fees for this field school include tuition for 6 credit hours (ANTH 3552 and 3553), transportation during the 4 weeks and accommodations. Students are responsible for their travel fees to and from Nova Scotia, food during their stay in Louisbourg, spending money and any other additional costs (e.g. travel insurance, visa requirements).

The program fee is $4000 CDN (includes tuition, accommodation and on-site travel costs). Non-refundable fee of $150 is payable upon confirmation you have been accepted into the program and will be deducted from program fee.

Course registration is now open and will remain open until all spots are filled.

Visa Requirements:
Students may require a valid passport to enter Canada. Some countries require further documentation for entry. Please visit the Government of Canada website to determine if you require any further documentation to enter the country.

Bioarchaeology Field SchoolField Trips and Fun Activities:
We will be offering some field trip opportunities over the four weeks of the program. These field trips are not mandatory but students are responsible for any additional costs.

  • Crabfest in Louisbourg
  • Whale watching in Cape Breton Highlands
  • Cannon firing at the Fortress
  • Night tours and ghost stories at the Fortress
  • Sydney day trips
  • Coastal hikes
  • Beggars Banquet in Louisbourg

Application process:
Interested students will be required to complete an application form and include the name and contact information of one referee and an unofficial transcript. Once received your application will be assessed and successful applicants will be contacted as soon as possible to pay their deposit fee for the program. The 2017 program is now full but applications will continue to be accepted. All new applications will be added to the waitlist.

Apply now!

Course Descriptions

Bioarchaeology Field SchoolANTH 3552 Bioarchaeological Field School I (O) 3ch (3S) (LE) (W)
This field program, with ANTH 3553, offers an introduction to mortuary archaeology and bioarchaeological field methods through skeletal excavation. This section of the course will emphasize the ethics of working with human remains, the identification and recovery of remains from archaeological contexts, skeletal excavation methods and techniques and field data recording.

ANTH 3553 Bioarchaeological Field School 2 (O) 3ch (3S) (LE) (W)
This field program, with ANTH 3552, offers an introduction to mortuary archaeology and bioarchaeological field methods through skeletal excavation. This section of the course will emphasize the technical analyses of skeletal remains through laboratory cataloguing, analysis, curation and storage.

ANTH 3552 and ANTH 3553 are to be taken concurrently.

Prerequisite: ANTH 3525 Bones: The Human Skeleton (or equivalent course)

Download the syllabus

Contact Us

For registration enquires please contact:
Erica Valentate
506 451-6824
bioarchfieldschool@unb.ca

For course information and further details about the program please contact:
Dr. Amy Scott, Field School Director and Instructor
506-458-7994
bioarchfieldschool@unb.caUNB Anthropology

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Parks Canada        Louisbourg