We will be living in a field camp for the duration of the field school's eight-week session. For some of you, this will be a new experience, and for most of you, this will be longest camping trip of your life. I have spent nearly four years of my life living in archaeological field camps and have narrowed down my list of field equipment to a set of key items. The list is not intended to be exhaustive, but will cover the basic things I will be bringing to the field this summer. Please note that items in the highlighted portion of the list ARE required.

Digging equipment ALL STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO GET EACH OF THESE ITEMS
  • Marshalltown brand masonry trowel (The brand is important, I think, and Marshalltown is the best get a size 5 or 6 diamond-shaped trowel.  These can be purchased at most hardware stores (e.g., Home Depot, ACE), just ask).
  • a metal file (get a "bastard file", yes, it's actually called that) for sharpening your metal trowel (just smile and ignore the hardware store help that tells you that sharpening a masonry trowel is crazy)
  • pencils, pens, eraser, small ruler, plastic protractor
  • wooden sculpting tool for excavating bone, shell, and other fragile items (or, you can just get a pair of wooden chopsticks, or sharpen a wooden dowel or hardwood stick to a point)
  • new (i.e., unused) small synthetic fiber paint brush (1" or 2" width)
  • a pair of work gloves (leather ones are better than the rubber covered cotton gloves)
  • a small case to carry your digging items

Things that will be provided

  • propane refrigerators
  • propane stoves and ovens
  • dish washing station
  • drinking water
  • restroom facilities
  • cooking utensils, pots, pans, etc.
  • garbage station

The Excavation Process: The Tools

 

Camping

  • tent
  • tarp for groundcloth (keeps tent dry and protects against sharp sticks, rocks)
  • tarp for rain cover on tent
  • cordage and bungee cords to secure tent and rain cover
  • sleeping bag and pillow
  • sleeping pad (foam, thermarest, etc.) or cot
  • small light for reading (headlamps work well)
  • small flashlight for walking at night
  • a paperback book or two
  • folding chair (I like the ones that have a drink holder in the arm rest)
  • plastic box with lid (Rubbermaid boxes work well-mark your box for clear identification among others when stacked on the truck)
  • 1 liter water bottle (Nalgene, or metal water bottle)
  • travel mug with lid (for coffee, tea)
  • folding pocket knife with useful items (e.g., blade, can opener, scissors)
  • sun screen (SPF 15-30)
  • lotion for dry skin and soothing sunburn
  • over the counter medicine for stomach and digestion problems
  • asprin or other over the counter pain killer
  • bathroom kit (shampoo, soap, washrag, toothbrush, toothpaste, small mirror, etc.)
  • ear plugs (sometimes, the snoring neighbor keeps me awake)
  • alarm clock
  • small backpack
  • small plastic boxes with lids for lunch (e.g., Tupperware type containers)
  • mess kit for meals: one each plate, bowl, fork, spoon, cup (fewer things to wash)
  • clothes line and clothes pins
  • Solar shower.  Bring a 5 gallon plastic bag-style solar shower for your own use.  We'll provide privacy shelters in which you will use your solar shower.

Clothing

  • shorts and long pants
  • swim trunks
  • short sleeved and long sleeved shirts (I like the UV resistant thin cloth shirts designed for hot weather)
  • hooded sweatshirt
  • water sandals
  • rain jacket (you never know)
  • large brimmed hat (baseball hats don't prevent sunburn on ears and neck areas very well) and a baseball hat
  • bandana (all purpose use, especially good for covering scorched neck area)
  • I bring two or three shirts and a couple pairs of shorts/pants that will only be worn as work clothes (digging is dirty work, so I will wear these clothes throughout the week and change after work)
  • tennis shoes for working at the site (smooth soled shoes are best)
  • hiking boots (for, well, hiking)
  • sunglasses (I don't buy expensive ones, since they usually get trashed each summer)

For fun

  • frisbee
  • camera
  • running shoes
  • fishing pole (you'll have to get a fishing license)
  • snorkel and mask
  • geology hammer
  • GPS receiver

Things to leave at home

  • fireworks
  • drugs and drug paraphernalia (prescription medications okay with written doctor's note)
  • weapons (e.g., overly large knives, firearms (including handguns))
  • boom boxes
  • metal detectors
  • pets
  • t-shirts, hats, or other clothing with controversial/offensive messages