May 8, 2020
Hood College is launching an online archaeology field school so students can learn how to dig like a pro while social distancing due to the coronavirus.
In the wake of the current pandemic, nearly all archaeological field schools around the world have been postponed or canceled, and students and professors have been largely confined to their homes. However, Hood College is offering a modification of its Art 370 class, called “Hood College Online Archaeological Field School: Backyard Archaeology.”
“While there are a couple of programs in Britain offering virtual field schools, to our knowledge, this is a one-of-a-kind program in the US,” said Jennifer Ross, Ph.D., chair of Hood’s Department of Art and Archaeology. “Even in the midst of social distancing, there will be ample opportunity for the teamwork that is central to successful archaeology. We’re excited to have the opportunity to offer it to Hood students.”
David Hixson, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of art and archaeology, will teach the course from his historic property outside Shepherdstown, West Virginia, a middling farmstead founded in 1790 that sat on the front lines of the Civil War. He will demonstrate proper field techniques, from research to excavation to the all-important paperwork, all via Zoom from his backyard. Students will work from home, putting these procedures to the test and checking in regularly with Hixson and the rest of the class.