(July 6, 2018)—My experience thus far has exceeded my expectations and has reaffirmed my choice in attending the Preservation Archaeology Field School. There are many different reasons why I decided to apply, and in only a few weeks my reasons have been fulfilled. I have learned so much in such a short time span, including planning, excavation, and even the paperwork. And while most field schools give these basics, we are definitely being taught above and beyond.
One major reason for my coming to the Southwest was to learn the ways of the people that used to live here; I wanted to experience the past, not just read about it. Experimental archaeology has been an extraordinary tool in opening my eyes to the past. I have been able to gain skills not available anywhere else, personally creating arrowheads, darts, and an atlatl—using only stone tools! What’s even better is that it doesn’t stop there. I am currently working on an axe and a number of pendants and charms made from the raw stone material of the region. This school has been more of an adventure than anything else.
What I didn’t expect was the extra knowledge acquired from my fellow students. Being surrounded by people passionate about their future career helps feed the fires of the group dynamic and make the experience that much more rewarding. The guest speakers we have stop by are also a wonderful addition to the school. Having exposure to professional scientist outside of a classroom setting and being able to pick the minds of some great archaeologists is a resource greatly appreciated.
Not even halfway through the six weeks I have learned more about archaeology here than in years of anthropology classes. Archaeology Southwest has made this a rewarding experience, and I am getting more from this adventure than can be put into words.