International Education

Dig the Neolithic: Archaeology Field School (2015)

WILLAMETTE STUDENTS AND STUDENTS FROM OTHER UNIVERSITIES MUST USE THE SAME COMMON STUDY ABROAD APPLICATION.  The deadline is December 3, 2014 for summer 2015 participation.  When you are ready to apply, start here:

The Willamette University Archaeology Field School offers students the exciting opportunity to experience The Heart of neolithic Orkney (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) first hand.  Students from WU will work with the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology as it unearths a "Neolithic cathedral" on the Ness of Brodgar.  This excavation is redefining the understanding of the Neolithic World and was listed by the Archaeological Institute of America as one of the tope 15 "most significant discoveries of 2009."

NON-WILLAMETTE STUDENTS ARE WELCOME TO APPLY but must meet all WU deadlines!!  In addition to applying using the application on the OIE website, if you are a non-WU student applying, please have your home university (AND any other universities you've attended) send an official transcript to:  International Education, Willamette University, 900 State Street, Salem, OR 97301.  The transcripts must arrive by the application deadline for full consideration.

  • Location:  Ness of Brodgar, Orkney Islands, Scotland  
  • Professor:  Scott Pike, Associate Professor of Environmental and Earth Science
  • Credit:  Earns 1.0 cr. of ARCH 355, Archaeology Field School or for students who have already taken ARCH 355, 1.0 cr. of ARCH 498, Advanced Archaeology Field School
  • Dates:  Saturday, July 18, 2015 through Saturday, August 15, 2015
  • Costs:  Tentatively $5,100 for WU students ($5,300 for non-WU students) based on 13 people.  The program cost includes WU tuition, lodging, local transportation and ferry fees, travel insurance, museum fees and field trips.  The program cost DOES NOT include meals so that students can economize as they choose with a suggested budget of $750 for food.  Transportation to and from the island is NOT included (est. $2,000).
  • Scholarships:  Willamette University students who are interested in participating in the field school are encouraged to apply to the Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology Student Field School Grants that provide some funding ($3,000) toward the cost of the program and travel to and from the site.

Information Session:  Please see  for list of study abroad information sessions.

Are you interested in learning more?  The site and the Willamette program have been featured in a number of places!

  • More program information can be found at and
  • The program has been featured on WU websites and publications:  WU website (here) and Spring 2012 edition of the Scene magazine (here).
  • NEW!! July 2014 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC feature (here).
  • February 2013 feature on PBS (here).
  • The Ness of Brodgar was featured in the Jan/Feb 2013 edition of Archaeology magazine, linked here.
  • A 12-minute video of images from the site is now available for viewing here.
  • An October 6, 2012 Guardian/Observer article "Neolithic discovery: why Orkney is the centre of ancient Britain" here.  Also in the Observer, here.
  • The site was also featured in National Geographic News in late January 2012, here.

For more information, contact Scott Pike ( or