Program Details

This course has two goals; 1) to introduce students to field methods in archaeology, and 2) to provide a practical working knowledge of excavation, lab, and field cataloging methods. The course primary directive is to enable students to better understand
Location:
Xi'An, China
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Summer

Program Overview

Program Description:
The Yangguanzhai Neolithic site in the Wei River Valley was discovered in 2004. The subsequent excavation of 17,000 square meters revealed rich deposits of Neolithic houses, storage pits, ceramic kilns, children's burials, and such features as a moat and trash pit. Artifacts found at the site include both decorated and undecorated pottery, stone tools, and various ornaments made of stone, ceramic, bone, and shell. Located in the central area of what archeologists call the Yangshao Culture Miaodigou Phase, Yangguanzhai will provide essential information to our knowledge of Neolithic settlement, social organization, economic, and perhaps ritual activities. This five to six thousand years old "moat-surrounded settlement" has been designated one of the "Most Important Archaeology Find of 2008" in China. Located in the area from which the earliest Chinese dynasties emerged, the site will provide vital insight into the prehistoric Chinese past.

This course has two goals; 1) to introduce students to field methods in archaeology, and 2) to provide a practical working knowledge of excavation, lab, and field cataloging methods. The course primary directive is to enable students to better understand how archaeology is practiced in the field. The course will take place at the Yangguanzhai Village in the Jing River Valley, approximately 25 kilometers north of the ancient city of Xi'an, northwest China. This field school is a collaborative project between the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, the Shaanxi Institute of Archaeology, and Xibei University in Xi'an, China. Instruction begins on June 20 and will meet every weekday until July 22. Students will spend the first week in Xi'an for five days of lectures and museum instructional tours. The following four weeks will be spent in the field performing excavation and lab work at the Shaanxi Institute of Archaeology Jingwei Station near the Yangguanzhai site. Students will live in a student dorm at the Xibei University while in Xi'an and the Research Base of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology while in Yangguanzhai.

Setting Description:
Students will stay in the dormitory at Northwest University, Xi'an, for the first week, and then at the Research Base of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, which is close to the site. Food is provided Mondays through Saturdays (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Students are responsible for their own meals on Sundays. (Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs, as well as any medical or physical conditions. We will advise you accordingly.) Three excursions are planned as part of the course: 1. A field trip to the Museum of Terracotta Soldiers and Horses (tomb of the first Chinese Emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in week 1. 2. The Yangling Museum (tomb of the Western Han emperor Jing). 3. A weekend trip to nearby archaeological sites will be arranged during weeks 2 to 5. This program has limited free time for independent sightseeing. Please consult with the Director about independent travel d

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