ASM Field Session

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.