Field School

The Center for Historic and Military Archaeology at Heidelberg University is sponsoring a summer field school at the historic Johnson's Island Civil War Prison site. The program will run from Monday June 6 to Friday July 08, 2011. Students will receive 6 semester hours of credit in ANT 250/251 (Archaeological Field Methods/Experience)

2011 Field School

Since the spring of 1989, Dr. Bush has been investigating the Johnson's Island Civil War Prison. This site, located on a small island in Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie (just north of Cedar Point) held over 10,000 Confederate officers captured at hundreds of battles during the Civil War. One of the unique aspects of this site is it only held officers. Past research has allowed us to specifically locate many of the special use areas of the prison. We have completed our investigations at present at Block 4, a general housing block and Block 6, the prison hospital. In the mid-1990s, preliminary investigations were conducted at Block 8, another general housing block. In 2010 we again explored both a latrine and the outside portion of Block 8. Last year we searched for additional latrines, but did not discover any. We will continue that search this year and excavate the northern half of Feature 124, a latrine associated with the 1863 occupation of Block 8.

We are offering a five week field school (six credit hours) for undergraduate college students, graduating high school seniors, incoming first year college students, and non-traditional adult students for academic credit, and for degree holding students who wish to gain field experience or expand their knowledge. This is an excellent opportunity to gain archaeological experience as well as learn about the American Civil War and the prison system. In addition to the field experience, there will be laboratory sessions in the archaeological laboratory on the Heidelberg University campus. Participants in the field school will gain experience in basic excavation techniques, on-site photography, the recording of archaeological data, and the identification and conservation of historic cultural materials. Students will work at the site Monday through Friday (8:30-3:30) for five weeks. Johnson’s Island is connected to the mainland through a causeway built from Marblehead to the island in 1972. Housing is available through the university with transportation provided to the site.

Participation Requirements

No previous experience is required. The program is designed for undergraduate college students, graduating high school seniors, or adults interesting in gaining intensive field experience. All enrollments must be for the full 6 hours and for the full five weeks. Enrollment in the program is limited to 12 and admission to the course is based on the order in which applications are received. Two texts are required for the course.

Season Dates

June 06, 2011 - July 08, 2011

Application Deadline

June 1, 2011


Students should enroll in Ant 250 and Ant 251 for a total of 6 semester credit hours.


$2442.00 - 6 credit hours

$85.00 Lab Fee per course
Housing at the university costs $85.00 per week ($425.00 for the five weeks). Food is not included.

For Further information

Dr. David Bush
Director, Heidelberg University
Tiffin, OH 44883
(419) 448-2327 (office)