The Yangguanzhai Neolithic site in the Wei River Valley was discovered in 2004. Located in the area from which the earliest Chinese dynasties emerged, the site contains rich deposits of Neolithic houses, storage pits, ceramic kilns, children’s burials, trash pits, and a large moat. Excavated artifacts include decorated and undecorated pottery, stone tools, and various ornaments made of stone, ceramic, bone, and shell. Yangguanzhai is located in the central area of what archeologists call the “Yangshao Culture Miaodigou Phase” and provides essential information of Neolithic settlement, social organization, economic, and possibly ritual activities. Excavations and lectures during the 2013 season will provide vital insight into the prehistoric Chinese past.
Dr. Ye Wa (email@example.com) is a Research Associate at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has a B.A. from Northwest University in Xi’an and a Ph.D. in archeology from UCLA. Dr. Wa worked in China and in the US on various archaeological projects.
Dr. Zhouyong Sun is a Research Fellow at the Shaanxi Institute of Archaeology, Xi’an, China. He has a B.A from Ximen University and a Ph.D. in archaeology from La Trobe University, Australia. Dr. Sun has worked in many archaeological projects in the region.
Tuition & Program Fee:
$4,300 Total Field school Costs: $4,800
All fees are payable to the Institute for Field Research. Eight semester credit units are provided through Connecticut College. Program fee includes registration, accommodations, program activities, meals on workdays, and health insurance.
Airfare, weekend meals, and optional excursions are additional.
Please inquire about Financial Aid at your home institution. For details about the financial aid application process, please visit the Financial Aid section of this web site.
How much to budget depends on your travel, entertainment and souvenir choices. It is always best to overestimate your spending. We recommend that you budget accordingly to cover optional sightseeing, laundry, internet cafes, emergencies, etc.
Expenses NOT Covered:
-Airfare to/from the pre-designated meeting place for the field school.
-Food on weekends when away from the site.
-Sightseeing outside formal field school excursions as outlined on the syllabus.
Students will stay in the Cuiyuan Hotel at Xi’bei University in the city of Xi’an for the first week of the field school. While working at Yangguanzhai, students will stay at the Checheng Hotel, which is a 15 minute drive to the site. Both hotels are double occupancy, air-conditioned with private showers and toilets.
Food is provided Monday through Saturday (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Students are responsible for their own meals on Sundays.
Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs, as well as any medical or physical conditions. We will advise you accordingly. The project is used to catering for vegetarians, those with gluten intolerance etc.
Two excursions are planned as part of the course: 1) In week 1 a field trip to the Museum of Terracotta Soldiers and Horses (tomb of the first Chinese emperor, Qin Shihuangdi. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Yangling Museum. 2) A further weekend trip to nearby archaeological sites will be arranged during weeks 2-5.
Students should plan to arrive in X'ian by June 23. Students may travel to X’ian by plane or train. Students will be met by project staff members at the airport or central train station. If students plan to travel prior to the field school in X’ian, they should arrive to Cuiyuan Hotel at Xibei University (No. 229 Taibai Beilu, Xi’an) by June 23 at 5:00pm.
Flying to X'ian: Many airlines fly to China and arriving at different gateway cities with convenient connection to X'ian international airport (XIY). Most fly either to Beijing or to Shanghai where you may use a connecting flight to X'ian. There are, however, many other alternatives as X'ian is a major city within China.
Train to X'ian: Students may take an overnight train to Xi’an from Beijing or Shanghai. Please note that international travelers may have difficulties ordering and obtaining train ticket from aboard.
A passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required. U.S. citizens need a visa to go to China. Students can apply for a TOURIST VISA at the Chinese Embassy or any Chinese Consulate in the United States. You can download the application form by clicking here.
Many travel agencies will process visas for a fee. Travel agencies listed on the Los Angeles Consulate website can be found by clicking here.
For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to China, please read the Centers for Disease Control Website. Click here to be directed to the CDC website.
“It was very exciting to unearth Neolithic artifacts such as a bone needle and a pottery knife. However, it was most rewarding to suddenly feel a very strong connection to the people who once inhabited YGZ nearly 6500 years ago-through my archeological fieldwork, I developed a relationship with the inhabitants of YGZ. I held a pottery knife just as they did. I could even feel the wear mark from the thumb of the person who once used this tool-and this was simply mindboggling.”
-James H. Kappel, Dartmouth College (2012)
"The experience at Yangguanzhai field school is more rewarding than one might think. You will not only learn much about archaeology, but also the local culture and customs, their language and knowing some new friends."
-Mitchell Ma, Toronto University (2012)
"This field school was a wonderful experience, and a great opportunity to learn the techniques and processes associated with Chinese archaeology. Not only was it a beneficial learning experience, I also met so many exceptional people, both in the teachers and in the participants!"
-Jennifer McGough, Cornell University (2012)
“Working at YGZ was a humbling and eye opening experience into not only the world of Archaeology, but also in seeing life in a completely new way in China. The school changed my life, I came back a noticeably different person, and grew in ways I had never expected.”
-Joshua Mittereder, University of Pittsburgh (2012)