The Annual Tyler Bastian Field Session
in Maryland Archeology is one of ASM's most popular programs. Named after Maryland's
first State Archeologist who began the Field Session in 1971 as a weekend field testing
project, it has grown to today's 11-day field and lab training program, complete with
lecture series, workshops, and meal/camping facilities.
The Field Session is held in cooperation with the
Maryland Historic Trust's Office of Archeology. The purpose of
the Field Session is to introduce lay persons to archeological methods and to teach
Maryland's past through hands-on involvement, while making meaningful contributions to
the study of Maryland archeology. Sites are selected for their research potential,
endangerment (e.g., from erosion, development, etc.), and for their suitability as a
training site. The program has worked well in that it provides a structured, professionally-
directed excavation project for students and lay people, and provides the Office of Archeology's
professional staff with an eager, well-trained cadre of volunteer assistants.
The Field Session has investigated over 30 different
sites in 13 of Maryland's 23 counties, ranging from prehistoric camps and villages to historic
mills and plantations. It has fostered a tradition of cooperation and camaraderie between amateur
and professional archeologists, putting Maryland at the forefront of nationwide efforts to involve
present generations in our shared archeological past.