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Research indicates that sexual harassment and assault commonly occur during archaeological field research, and students, trainees, and early career professionals are more frequently subjected to harassing behaviors compared to mid-career and senior scientists. Specific to archaeological education, the undergraduate educational requirement of a field school puts students and trainees in situations where harassment historically has been unchecked. We present the results of a systematic content analysis of 24 sets of field school documents. We analyzed these documents with attention to how field school policies, procedures, and language may impact students’ perceptions of their expected behaviors, logistics and means of reporting, and stated policies surrounding sexual harassment and assault. Coding was conducted using an a priori coding scheme to identify practices that should lead to a safe and supportive field learning environment. Our coding scheme resulted in 11 primary codes that we summarized as three primary themes: (1) field school organization and expected student behavior, (2) logistics of the course, and (3) stated policies surrounding sexual harassment and assault. Based on these themes, we provide recommendations to modify field school documents and practices to create a field school that provides safe opportunities for students to learn.
Given the hierarchical nature and structure of field schools, enrolled students are particularly susceptible to harassment and assault. In 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released recommendations to help prevent sexual harassment and assault of women in academia. Although these recommendations are specific to higher education and exclusive to women, some can be modified and applied to the context of archaeological field schools. We review the NASEM's recommendations, with particular attention to those applicable to the field school setting, and provide suggestions for making field schools safer and more inclusive learning environments for all students. Although we present recommendations for practices that can be implemented at field schools, additional research is needed to understand how sexual harassment occurs at field schools and how the implementation of these recommendations can make learning safer.
Analysis of human remains and a copper band found in the center of a Late Archaic (ca. 5000–3000 cal BP) shell ring demonstrate an exchange network between the Great Lakes and the coastal southeast United States. Similarities in mortuary practices suggest that the movement of objects between these two regions was more direct and unmediated than archaeologists previously assumed based on “down-the-line” models of exchange. These findings challenge prevalent notions that view preagricultural Native American communities as relatively isolated from one another and suggest instead that wide social networks spanned much of North America thousands of years before the advent of domestication.