Excavation Expeditions

Research and Collections

The Field Expedition program is Montpelier’s most popular week-long participatory program. Started more than 20 years ago, and expanding to approximately 12 programs a year, this program allows you to work side-by-side with professional archaeologists as they guide you working in an excavation unit.While digging through Madison-era deposits, you will experience the excitement of uncovering artifacts and features that have been buried for more than two centuries.

There is no previous experience needed to participate in the program and we have a wide range of ages attend the programs--from 12-80.  We have many college students who take the program to gain a better understanding for archaeology and museum programs as a profession.  In addition, we have other folks attend who are distance learners and need field experience as well as continuing education program participants. For students under 18 years of age, we require that a parent or guardian attend with the students, with many parents making it a memorable one-week experience with their son or daughter.  In addition to the field experience, you will spend a day in the Archaeology Lab where you will be introduced to the post-excavation analysis of archaeological materials that you excavated from the dig site.

While participating in the program, you will stay in the antebellum plantation house, “Arlington House,” or for those wanting private rooms, there are other housing options at Montpelier and at local B&Bs.

2016 Excavation Expedition Schedule

  • Session #1: March 20-25
  • Session #2: April 17-22
  • Session #3: April 24-29
  • Session #4: July 24-29
  • Session #5: July 31-Aug 5
  • Session #6: August 7-12
  • Session #7: September 4-9
  • Session #8: September 18-23,
  • Session #9: October 2-7
  • Session #10: October 16-21

For more information about how to participate in this program, please contact Matthew Reeves, Director of Archaeology and Landscape Restoration, at  dig@montpelier.org or (540) 672-2728 x 161.

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A group shot of the 2011 Montpelier Archaeology Work Study Program

Field Expedition members filling out paperwork during an active dig