We will be living in a field camp for the duration of the field school 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 many 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


  • 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
  • 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 (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

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



  • tent (bigger is better)
  • 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 (I prefer a cot and the thickest pad I can get)
  • 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)
  • 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
  • prescription medications (if needed)
  • aspirin 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 (optional).  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. You can also use a bucket and cup to clean up.



  • shorts and long pants
  • swim trunks
  • short sleeved and long-sleeved shirts (I like the UV resistant thin cloth shirts 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
  • bandanna (all purpose use, especially good for covering scorched neck area)
  • 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)


Things to leave at home

  • fireworks
  • Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • weapons (e.g., overly large knives, firearms (including handguns))
  • boom boxes
  • metal detectors
  • pets
  • t-shirts, hats, or other clothing with controversial/offensive messages
  • offensive board games (e.g. Cards Against Humanity)