Intensive Summer Course Series

Application Deadline: April 15, 2023
Apply Here

The Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials offers a series of intensive courses in the field of archaeological science. They are aimed at advanced undergraduates, graduate students, scholars, and professionals with a background in archaeology or in a relevant field. All courses are taught by CAAM Teaching Specialists and Museum staff and are offered on rotation every 1-2 years with the final dates confirmed in the Spring of each year.

2023 Courses

Andean Textile Studies – May 21-26, 2023 with Dr. Anne Tiballi
This intensive, six-day* course will introduce participants to the analysis and reproduction of archaeological textiles from the Andean region of South America. Participants will learn to identify, analyze, and document features of ancient textiles by examining archaeological specimens from various sites in Peru from the Penn Museum’s collection, and by learning to spin and weave the Andean way. Lectures will introduce major Andean cultures and their iconography from Chavin to the Inka, while hands-on activities will cover the textile production process from fiber collection through spinning, dyeing, weaving, and post-loom techniques. No prior experience is required, and instruction is flexible enough to accommodate novice and experienced weavers and archaeologists. This course is ideal for graduate students in Andean archaeology, museum professionals, and textile enthusiasts with an academic bent. All course materials are included in the fee. *The first day is optional and includes a visit to an alpaca farm.
Petrography of Cultural Materials – June 12-16, 2023 with Dr. Marie-Claude Boileau
This five-day course will introduce participants to thin-section petrography of ceramic archaeological objects and architectural materials (stone, mortar and plaster). Using polarized light microscopy, the course will cover the basics of optical mineralogy and the petrography of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. We will move on to the petrographic characterization of ceramic materials and the interpretation of provenance and manufacturing technology. Participants who wish to work on their own material are encouraged to bring their thin sections.


Location: Courses will be held in the Penn Museum’s Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM) located on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA.

Course fees: $900 for 5-day course, $600 for 3-day course. Fees include all course materials and access to laboratory facilities. Travel to and from Philadelphia, accommodation, meals and course credits are not covered by the course fees.

A minimum of 4 participants is required for courses to be offered.

Past Intensive Courses

YearCourse NameInstructor
2022Field ArchaeobotanyDr. Chantel White
2022ArchaeogeophysicsDr. Jason Herrmann
2022Petrography of Cultural MaterialsDr. Marie-Claude Boileau
2020Field ArchaeobotanyDr. Chantel White
2020Methods for Zooarchaeology in Andean South AmericaDr. Katherine Moore
2020Petrography of Cultural MaterialsDr. Marie-Claude Boileau
2020ArchaeogeophysicsDr. Jason Herrmann
2019Problems and Methods in ZooarchaeologyDr. Katherine M Moore
2019Triage Care of Artifacts On SiteTeam taught by Penn Museum Conservators
2019Mining and Metallurgy in ArchaeologyDr. Moritz Jansen
2018Petrography of Cultural MaterialsDr. Marie-Claude Boileau
2018Andean Textile StudiesDr. Anne Tiballi
2017Field ArchaeobotanyDr. Chantel White