Preservation Archaeology Field School
Join us for the Preservation Archaeology Field School in southwestern New Mexico, May 24 through July 5, 2017. Offered by Archaeology Southwest and the University of Arizona, this unique six-week program provides students with an opportunity to learn excavation, survey, experimental archaeology, and laboratory methods in a beautiful, remote, and archaeologically exciting part of the U.S. Southwest.
Qualifying undergraduate students will receive a $3000 stipend through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program (NSF Award No. 1560465) to offset the costs of attending. Please see the application and registration page for details.
Download a PDF with information about the 2017 field school [coming soon!]
Our innovative curriculum highlights the goals, ethics, and practice of Preservation Archaeology, which integrates research, education, and preservation within a community-based framework. We share what we learn throughout the project with the public via local events, blog posts, and other venues. Together, students and staff explore ethically responsible and scientifically rigorous field and research methods while investigating compelling questions about our shared past.
In 2017, students will participate in test excavations at the Gila River Farm site near Cliff, New Mexico. People lived in this adobe pueblo during the Cliff phase (A.D. 1300–1450). Artifacts and architecture here show a mix of influences, including traditions originating in northeastern Arizona’s Kayenta area (part of the Ancestral Pueblo homelands), or from various local Mogollon groups before 1300. At the Gila River Farm site, community members participated in a multiethnic ideology that we call Salado. Our research is focused on understanding how different earlier traditions combined under this ideology and allowed people of various cultural backgrounds to live together. Key questions include what kinds of pottery the site’s residents made and used and how this changed over time, how they used local plants and animals, and where they obtained raw material for stone tools, particularly obsidian.
The field school begins in Tucson, Arizona, where students take part in a three-day orientation to the principles of Preservation Archaeology at Archaeology Southwest and the University of Arizona. The remainder of the program takes place in Cliff, New Mexico.
This project is committed to increasing the diversity of views represented in archaeology, including improving communication between archaeologists and nonprofessionals and between researchers with different backgrounds and training. Students from backgrounds and institutions traditionally underrepresented in archaeology (including small colleges and community colleges) are especially encouraged to apply.