devils kitchen siteLearn modern archaeological excavation methods as we continue our study of the Devils Kitchen site, located on Oregon’s southern coast near the town of Bandon. Overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean, this site holds a fascinating record of the past 13,000 years. Our expedition will seek to learn how long people lived at the site, what their past lives were like and how their local coastal environments changed over time. As a part of this course, students will also learn geoarchaeology field methods and archaeology laboratory procedures in a stunning outdoor classroom setting. Students and staff will camp at Bullards Beach State Park, which is a short walk from beautiful beach and estuary areas.

Students register for ANTH 438 (12 credits) or ANTH 538 (9 credits). This course has no academic prerequisites and all OSU and non-OSU students can apply. Summer 2022 tuition and fee costs for ANTH 438 (12 credits) were $3134 and $4760 for ANTH 538 (9 credits) and may be a bit higher in 2023.


2023 Field School Application Form

Frequently Asked Questions

We will be camping at Bullards Beach State Park for the duration of the field project. Project vehicles will provide transportation to and from the field school during work days. You are able to bring your own vehicle but will have to park it a few miles away at an arranged spot. Students are encouraged not to bring their own vehicles unless necessary.

We will be living in a field camp with tents, a field kitchen, shower facilities, and toilets. You will need to bring your own camping gear (see list here).

Our field camp will be located in the Bullards Beach State Park campground near Bandon, Oregon. Students are free to go to town on their free time. Vans will go into town during the week for supplies. Cell phone coverage is generally good.
What is the weather like? Summers will be mild, with daily temperatures near 65 degrees. Sometimes the summers will have rainy days, so prepare for all kinds of weather.

Participating students must sign up for 12 credits of Archaeology Field School (ANTH 438; or 9 credits of 538 if you’re seeking graduate credit). In 2022, tuition costs were $3134 for 12 credits of ANTH 438 in 2018 (~$4760 for 9 credits of ANTH 538) and may be a bit higher in 2023. Students must also obtain some personal tools (see the list provided at http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/bring). In addition to these costs, students will be responsible for paying for their own food, laundry, and entertainment. Food costs vary, depending on the individual, but might be expected to cost $50-$75/week or so. In the past, students worked together to share food costs and cooking responsibilities. Communal kitchen facilities will be established at the camp for free student use. A van will bring students from the OSU Corvallis campus to Bandon and back again at the start and end of the project. Students wishing to bring their own vehicles will be responsible for all associated costs. Current OSU and non-OSU students are welcome.

The short answer to this question is: some, but not too much. The long answer is more telling, however.  Although everyone mainly associates archaeology with the discovery of amazing artifacts, a successful field expedition is built on the establishment and maintenance of many logistical aspects that must be in place before anything else can happen. As far as physical labor goes about 90% of our effort will be expended during the first and last weeks. Once we arrive at our field location, everyone will work to set up their own tent and we’ll all pitch in to build our kitchen facility. These first aspects will take a day or more and will require the coordinated effort of all members of the field crew. Once we get our field camp set up, we’ll work to build a fence at the site. At camp and at the site we’ll get to work learning about our field procedures in preparation for excavation. During the excavation, our physical labor demands are modest and are primarily limited to loading and unloading gear each morning and afternoon, carrying buckets of sediment to the screens, and screening excavated sediments. In the last week of the field school, we’ll put special plastic crates into the excavation block, bury them, lay new sod, and break down our fencing. Finally, we’ll work throughout the last days to disassemble our field camp in an orderly manner; load things back onto trucks and trailers, and head home. Students generally have no problem with the labor required in the field.  While some people are more physically capable than others, all we expect is that you work to the best of your abilities. Maintaining a safe and happy workplace is our main goal. Nearly everyone finds archaeology’s combination of physical and mental effort to be highly rewarding.

To be honest, no one ever asks this question; however, it’s an important topic that needs to be discussed up front. For nearly all students, the ability to participate in an archaeology field school at a great site, set in a beautiful and rugged environment is a grand adventure that they will remember fondly for the rest of their lives. These students focus on the task at hand—learning contemporary field methods and concepts in the pursuit of archaeological knowledge—and revel in the new experience of living and working well with others in a field setting. Although students of this type come from all corners of our nation (and sometimes from beyond), they all share similar traits: they are respectful of others, they are polite and patient in their interpersonal interactions, and they do not engage in offensive, disruptive or illegal behaviors while participating on the field school. To be clear as to what these behaviors entail and how sanctions may be applied read the Code of Conduct at this link: https://studentlife.oregonstate.edu/pre-student-conduct-community-standards

Students demonstrating significant behavioral problems at any time will be removed from the field school. Students performing illegal behaviors will be reported and turned over to local law enforcement agencies. Everyone deserves to work and learn in a productive, professional setting and the nature of our work demands a high level of performance from participants. Working at the Devils Kitchen site is a privilege, not a right. Because we are guests at Bullards Beach State Park and in the local community, your actions reflect upon our project and OSU as well.