Field School Review – Barunga

Community Archaeology Filed School, Australia. Flinders University.

By Jordan

When: One week at the end of June

“If you like ____, you’ll love this field school”: community archaeology and Indigenous archaeology

Cost: Cost is around $1000 per person for Australian university students, and the price increases for short course and international students.

Living conditions: In Barunga (NT) we live in tents (supply your own) and use a shared bathroom with running water and flushing toilets. We cook communal meals each night and the quality varies depending on the team in charge of cooking that night. No internet unless you can access it from your mobile or wireless modem (Telstra works best in Barunga).

The Team: Staff to student ratio is generally one staff member for every three students. Average age and level of experience varies. This field school is designed for a variety of students. Everyone from those with little to no experience in community and Indigenous archaeology, to graduate students and more experienced archaeologists will learn a lot from this field school.

Culture: Everything we do on this field school is at the request or direction of senior Traditional Owners. Activities vary depending on the needs of community members, but generally include a site recording, excursions to rock art sites and other archaeological sites.

The locals are very friendly – if you don’t like kids, then don’t come on this field school. We work very closely with many community members on this field school.

The biggest culture shock for me was that the basic services, such as access to health, education, good, and healthy food, that we have come to take for granted in urban society are rare and in some cases unobtainable in Aboriginal communities.

Best Thing: Being able to work with the Traditional Owners of Jawoyn Country.

Worst Thing: That it doesn’t go for a month.

Where to go for more information and applications: http://www.flinders.edu.au/ehl/archaeology/fieldwork/field-schools/community-archaeology-field-school/home.cfm

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