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Field Schools

Learning in a classroom is important, but getting into the field and seeing that knowledge in action is vital for students in Saint Louis University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

The department's Cahokia Mounds Archaeology Field School provides this opportunity for SLU students.

Archaeology Lab

Students can extend their experience at the Cahokia Mounds Archaeology Field School with a supplementary course in the archaeology lab. 

Cahokia Mounds Archaeology Field School

Each summer, SLU conducts a four-week archaeological field school at the prehistoric chiefdom of Cahokia under the direction of Mary Vermilion, Ph.D. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Collinsville, Illinois. The site is integral to understanding sociopolitical complexity and how complex social systems come to power and decline.

Field school students receive training in various aspects of archaeological fieldwork, including site survey and mapping, excavation and recording techniques, artifact identification, analysis, processing and inventory. The number of students admitted is limited to ensure individual instruction and hands-on experience. This course is certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists.

This field school is a four-credit-hour course (ANTH 4710) and open to SLU undergraduate students and visiting students from other institutions. No previous field experience is necessary. The field school meets 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You must provide your own food and transportation to and from the site.

Following the field school, SLU offers a two-week, two-credit-hour archaeological lab analysis course (ANTH 4720) that emphasizes the scientific methods and procedures used by archaeologists to investigate, reconstruct, interpret, preserve and learn from artifacts, features and ecofacts. Students learn to process, inventory, analyze and interpret the archaeological record within both regional and site contexts.

This course meets 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday to Friday, in the archaeology lab in Morrissey Hall.

You can enroll in either or both courses.

For more information, contact Mary Vermilion, Ph.D., at