1 week option: JUNE 11 JUNE 18, 2012
1 week option: JUNE 18 JUNE 25, 2012
2 week option: JUNE 11 JUNE 25, 2012

Island Archaeology will not be offered in the summer of 2013.

Total cost of room and board:
$1,441/person/7 days (double occupancy)

Prerequisite: NO previous experience in archaeology required; this is a non-credit program open to all, 18 years of age and up!

2012 Registration Form (download, complete and send to Shoals).

SEE our Archaeological Institute of America 2012 listing.
SEE the Discover Portsmouth Center "Under the Shoals" exhibit" -- plan to visit the Center when you are in town!
WATCH this NEW video from NH Chronicle (Public TV) "Under the Isles of Shoals"
WATCH this video from the "Windows to the Wild" (NH Public TV)

READ this recent news article about historic artifacts on Smuttynose Island.

The Isles of Shoals off the coast of Maine (New England) has a long history of human settlement from the late 16th century. Early communities were based on fish processing. Students will take part in ongoing archaeological research on the site of a fish processing station on Smuttynose Island, located adjacent to Appledore Island's Shoals Marine Laboratory. In this course you will learn about the past human communities that lived on the island (1650 to the late 19th century) and about marine organisms that were present in the environment during those periods. Participants live at the Shoals Marine Lab and commute to Smuttynose Island by boat each day. Course work will include documentation, reporting and completion of architectural, historic and prehistoric site survey and excavation forms suitable for historic preservation submission. Training in field logistics, scheduling, ethics, and public relations are also part of this course. The Register of Professional Archaeology Standards and Practice will be used as a guide.

Research objectives of this project include:

Identifying the past size and geographic and temporal distribution of marine species:
warm water marine species such as swordfish, scallop, and quahog over time which can be compared to marine temperature changes apparent in foraminifera records.
extinct species such as sea mink and great auk.
invasive species by documenting spatial occurrence over time.


Dr. Nathan D. Hamilton, University of Southern Maine
Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley, Shoals Marine Laboratory, Cornell University

About Island Archaeology from alumni, Jennifer Cooper (Cornell '13):
"The weeks that I have spent at Shoals have been one of the most educational and exciting experiences that I've had in college. It's fantastic to spend all day outside right next to the ocean breeze on various islands while learning about history! The professor in charge, whom we call Nate, leads an organized team of people to excavate numerous areas, and exciting finds include bullets, door knocker, coins, a variety of decorative ceramic shards, and even a few prehistoric points! This is a great way to gain knowledge about archaeological excavation techniques and about the settlement of an early North American fishing community. Plus, the food is delicious as well!"

Photos of artifacts:

Report on the 2010 Archaeology project at Shoals on Smuttynose:

Reports on the 2009 Island Archaeology project at Shoals on Smuttynose:
Cornell Chronicle
ISHRA in the news

Reports on the 2008 Island Archaeology course at Smuttynose:
Cornell Chronicle

Photo Gallery
Foster's Daily Democrat

Back to the Top