The Ames Plantation, for all intents and purposes, is a 20,000-acre classroom. Located 50 miles east of Memphis in Fayette and Hardeman counties, the historical area is home to approximately 250 different archaeological sites, both historic and prehistoric. Students work in excavation during a three-week extensive course in archaeology.
The massive land base was purchased in the early 20th century by Hobart Ames, part of the Ames Manufacturing family from Boston, who bought it as a winter retreat and hunting reserve. Since the 1950s, the site has been under the purview of the Hobart Ames Foundation, which has a very strong education component, and Rhodes is partnered with its board to further its mission. Students are able to receive a science foundation credit by working with the field school and participating in one of the courses offered in environmental archaeology.