2023 UC-HBCU Graduate Pathways Internship in African Archaeology

Dear colleagues,

Please forward to following announcement to potential HBCU students interested in Archaeology.

The UCSC Archaeological Research Center is excited to announce the 2023 UC-HBCU Graduate Pathways Internship in African Archaeology. Now in its 5th year, the internship is a five-week summer training program designed to introduce undergraduate students enrolled at accredited Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to the methods and results of archaeological research on African Diaspora sites. Since 2018, interns from multiple HBCUs have participated in archaeological excavations at three sites of key importance to the African Diaspora: 1) Sans-Souci, the royal palace of Henry Christophe located in Milot, Haiti, 2) Estate Little Princess, a former Danish plantation in St. Croix, USVI, and 3) Saclo, Bénin, a rural village that emerged on the outskirts of Abomey, capital of the precolonial Kingdom of Dahomey.

For the 2023 field season, we will focus exclusively on the site of Saclo, Bénin. Students will spend one week in residence at UC Santa Cruz, California (June 25th-July 1st) and another four weeks in Bénin (July 2nd-July 29th) doing field work and visiting heritage sites. At UCSC, students will receive one week of intensive training in artifact analysis and digital archaeological methods from multiple specialists on campus. Particular attention will be devoted to artifact typology, and the use of 3D technology to model artifacts and excavations. Interns will then join participants from the Université d’Abomey Calavi for 4 weeks of survey and excavation at Saclo in Bénin.

While in Bénin, interns will apply the methods they have learned in a real archaeological setting, recovering traces of a settlement dating to the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the rise of the Kingdom of Dahomey. Interns will also visit important heritage sites in Bénin (Ouidah, Savi, Abomey, Cana), and learn from leaders in the field of archaeology and cultural heritage in Bénin. Time permitting, we may also conduct limited testing at a site associated with the Agojié, famous women warriors most recently depicted in the film The Woman King.

Participating interns will gain field experience in interdisciplinary methods for the study of West Africa and the African Diaspora, and mentorship towards a career in archaeology. The internship is intended to teach students basic excavation, survey, and analysis methods while also exposing them to potential graduate level research in archaeology and related disciplines. All room, board, and travel to and from UC Santa Cruz and Bénin will be provided. Additionally, interns will receive a stipend of $800 per week ($4,000 total). Students who successfully complete the program are eligible for competitive financial incentives to attend graduate school in any program in the University of California system.

Please provide all information requested in subsequent pages, and upload all necessary supporting documentation when prompted. This includes:
a. A 1,000-word essay that outlines your academic background, interest in archaeology, and how this experience will contribute to your academic and career goals.
b. An unofficial transcript.
c. One letter of recommendation from a professor who can speak to your academic interests and abilities.
d. A resume/CV outlining your work experience (academic or otherwise).

For more information about the internship and for links to the application form, please visit our webpage, or you may go directly to the application form. The deadline for receipt of all application materials is 5 pm (Pacific Standard Time), Sunday, February 26th, 2022. Materials received after this deadline cannot be guaranteed consideration. For more information contact Dr. J. Cameron Monroe(jcmonroe@ucsc.edu) or Dr. Justin Dunnavant (jdunnavant@anthro.ucla.edu).

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