If you’re like me, which is likely if you clicked this post, you dreamed of being an archaeologist.
And like me, you probably never figured out how to get into the game.
A lot of archaeological digs are either field training, or looking for volunteers. The only requirements are age and an application!
So, here are some archaeological digs happening in the United States that you could volunteer to work at:
Slave Community in Orange, Virginia
If you’re interested in slavery-era American history, this is right up your alley.
Volunteering for this dig will take you to a few different places, but one of the plots being looked at is the south yard of Montpelier Mansion. Now a house museum, the mansion has history stretching all the way back to the Revolutionary War. What makes it an ideal place to dig is that the property was all but abandoned around the 1840s, leaving plenty of untouched artifacts from the slaves who worked there.
Coopers Ferry in Cottonwood, Idaho
This site is near the Salmon River, and there has been debate over how long humans have lived on it. The excavation has been in progress for a few years, but the ultimate question is if early humans from the Pleistocene period lived there. If so, it will add a huge amount of information to the life of early humans. So, it’s not surprising that this site is only for field school, and volunteering for this dig will take more effort.
Paleoindian Bison Camp in Guymon, Oklahoma
If you haven’t had your fill of early humans, you could pop over to Oklahoma this month to check out a site called Bull Creek Camp.
Near the Oklahoma Panhandle, this site shows a spot where native peoples from 9,000 years ago processed bison to butcher, skin, tan, etc. The site is hoping to uncover cultural materials that will give more of a map to Paleoindian life. Meanwhile, volunteering for this dig can teach a whole lot about ancient bison!
George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia
In light of Independence Day, why not hang out at Washington’s plantation while learning some historic conservation? The site had been in the Washington family for a few generations before George took it under his wing. The Mount Vernon mansion that sits there now was constructed by him, and he lived his life in it.
The team will be taking students on to help teach them how to work on the land of a house museum.
The General William A. Mills House in Mount Morris, New York
WIlliam Mills was a big name during the War of 1812, which helped sort out left over issues from the Revolutionary War. He was known for defending the Niagara frontier, which at the time was a vast wilderness (and still kinda is). He settled in Mount Morris with his family, after he served in the war. The house itself is being painstakingly studied, and a few historical clues to it’s construction have been found. You only have to be 14 to volunteer for this most permissive of archaeological digs! And no experience is necessary.