FAQ Getting Involved

Are there any training programs for amateur archaeologists?

Yes. Many state archaeological societies now have or are developing avocational archaeology certification programs.   There is also an Archaeology Technology Program that offers a certificate in field archaeology.

How can I find a dig to volunteer on?

There are both private and public organizations that offer opportunities to participate in excavations. Private organizations such as Earthwatch and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and the Center for American Archaeology charge a fee to participate that usually includes lodging and meals, and volunteers must pay their own transportation costs. Public agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service

have volunteer programs, do not generally charge fees, and usually offer inexpensive camp accommodations to volunteers. The Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin is published annually by the Archaeological Institute of America.

I want to work on a dig but I can’t travel far.
How can I find a dig near where I live?

Most states hold annual archaeology week or month celebrations that include public events and opportunities to participate in . You can also contact your state archaeologist and your state archaeological society to find other activities in your area . If you need additional help finding volunteer opportunities in your area, contact the Society for American Archaeology Education Coordinator in your state.

Can I get involved in archaeology in middle or high school?

Yes!  Most states hold an annual archaeology week or month celebration that includes public events including opportunities to participate in archaeology. Some states have Site Steward programs that use volunteers to monitor sites and record changes to them.  State archaeological societies often welcome volunteers to help record, survey or excavate sites. The US Forest Service has a volunteer program that includes archaeology.

For more information on activities in your area, contact your state archaeologist or the Society for American Archaeology Network of State and Provincial Archaeology Education Coordinators.

Information Courtesy of Maureen Malloy, SAA Manager, Education and Outreach.

Posted by Patrice L. Jeppson 02/18/05 Updated 02/03/10