…to the 2012 Preservation Archaeology Field School!
By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist
It’s nearly here, and our staff is busy making final preparations for the 2012 Archaeology Southwest/University of Arizona Preservation Archaeology Field School at Mule Creek, New Mexico. Soon we’ll be loading up the vehicles and heading to our field camp!
We are again expecting students from all over the United States: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Texas will be represented. Staff members Katherine Dungan and Rob Jones are returning this year, and we are also happy to have Texas A&M Ph.D. student Danny Welch on board this year as a Field Supervisor. We also have an experienced field cook, Carol Peters, coming all the way from Idaho. I’m looking forward to some hearty meals!
This summer, we will be focusing our test excavations on the great kiva in the center of the Fornholt site’s southern room block. Last summer’s testing provided tantalizing clues about how this structure was constructed and used—we uncovered somewhat unexpected evidence of a possible bench. We hope to finally resolve our questions about this structure and its occupation history. We also plan to test another possible kiva or large pit structure situated between the northern and southern room blocks.
We are trying something new this year: we have planned a couple of community outreach events in nearby Gila, New Mexico. We are working with the staff of the Gila Valley Library to present an event for children and an event for adults, both of which will allow staff and students to talk informally about our work in Mule Creek and elsewhere in the Southwest. We plan to have hands-on activities, such as pottery making, as well as stone tool manufacturing demonstrations and short research talks.
Stay tuned for more details about these events, and be sure to follow our Mule Creek Underground blog throughout the summer. Our staff and students will be posting several times per week about our field work and camp life.