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Archaeology Opportunities

There are multiple opportunities for students interested in archaeology. The Public Archaeology Institute invites rising 9th through 12th graders to work alongside archaeologists. The department also collaborates with Williamsburg & Mary to offer field schools.

Colonial Williamsburg Public Archaeology Institute

Program Overview
The 2024 Public Archaeology Institute (PAI) is a unique program that invites students, entering grades 9-12, to work alongside archaeologists in the field and explore the connections between documentary and archeological evidence, and how they work together to convey a unified interpretation in a public history setting.

Participants of the PAI will receive approximately eight hours of “class time,” during which a history of Custis Square and Williamsburg’s Public Hospital will be examined along various artifact types, including ceramics, architectural materials, faunal remains, and small finds. Students will spend the remainder of the week practicing archaeological field methods, site recording, and interpretation of findings through hands-on field work and speaking with visitors. Each session will conclude with a site tour showcase, in which each PAI participant will guide one archaeological site tour. Student-guided tours will share the site’s history, project objectives, and observations made in the field with visitors, family members, and friends.


This program is offered free of charge to accepted students.

Session One
Students entering Grades 9 & 10
June 17-21, 2024

Session Two
Students Entering Grades 11 & 12
July 8-12, 2024


Applications open on March 1, 2024.


To learn more about the 2024 Public Archeology Institute, contact Crystal Castleberry, Public Archaeologist, at [email protected]

Field schools

Program Overview

For more than 30 years, College of William and Mary students have learned excavation techniques and recording, as well as the identification of common eighteenth-century artifacts at Colonial Williamsburg field schools.

This class provides students with practical training in archaeological field methods and public historic site interpretation. Students will participate in the surveying, recording and excavation of an active archaeological site. Participants in this course will learn how to: perform archaeological excavation techniques, identify archaeological artifacts and features and effectively communicate archaeological results to members of the public.

2024 Sessions:

Session 1: May 28 - June 28

Session 2: July 3 - August 2

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