The last few days have been incredibly busy, but the field school is now underway! The students arrived late Sunday afternoon to a meal of turkey mole prepared by our wonderful hosts. They gave a brief introduction to their ranch and life here in Mule Creek, and Bill Doelle talked to the students about the history of Archaeology Southwest’s work in Preservation Archaeology. We put up tents in wind that gusted up above 40 miles per hour, but now have a camp of about twenty people, centered around a one-bedroom field house where we do our cooking and eating.
Work starts early here, to avoid the late afternoon heat. The first day was a review and site tour, kicked off by a brief talk by Bill over breakfast. There is a lot of subtle archaeology on this land, and we took the students to see pit houses and melted adobe structures, by way of contrast to the massive masonry of Fornholt, which will be the subject of this year’s research. We spent the afternoon laying out practice excavation units and talking about paperwork and note taking. The students have field notebooks that will be a primary component of the record of this excavation, and good note-taking and observation is an important skill for any field scientist.