The Rice University Archaeological Field School is a five-week on-site course that will introduce a multi-disciplinary approach to archaeology and early African history. Students will learn the techniques and methodologies of field archaeology, in an experiential-learning environment. All students will participate in archaeological excavations, pedestrian survey, artifact processing and analysis, and historical linguistic and ethnographic research.
Past field schools have been on the island of Gorée, located off the coast of Senegal, where research focused on the development of Gorée as a supply port for the Atlantic trade, and at Songo Mnara, a 15th-century Swahili urban center on the southern Tanzanian coast, where the field school was held from 2009-2016. From 2018 to 2023, the field school was located in southwest Zambia, in the region around Basanga, focused on issues of mobility.
Up to six hours of course credit are available for the field school, including ANTH 364 African Archaeology Field Techniques and ANTH 370, Archaeological Laboratory Techniques and Analysis. The field school is offered without specific prerequisites, but there is a general requirement that students have some prior coursework in archaeology or African history.