(June 22, 2020)—Is your tent (blanket fort?) set up? That has to come first. Next is your camp chair. Pick a good spot. You have enough water? OK.
Usually at this time of year, this blog features our Preservation Archaeology Field School students writing about what they are learning and experiencing on our project in southwest New Mexico. This summer, we had to find a different way to bring the field school—at least some aspects of it—to you. So, over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring written posts and short videos on some of the topics our in-person field school covers, straight from some of the experts who usually help us teach them. (You may have seen some of Allen’s presentations already.)
Visiting experts are an important part of our field school experience and curriculum. They generously volunteer their time to drive to our field site and see what we’re working on. They chat with our students about what they do and the paths their training and careers have taken, and they share some of the insights their specialties and experience bring to our research. Many evenings, after dinner, we settle in for presentations by these visiting experts and by our field school staff.
And here’s one of my favorite things: most of these presentations are open to the public. Our wonderful hosts in Cliff encouraged us to open up the camp building we borrow each summer and invite anyone who’s interested to attend these and learn more about what we’re doing. We put up flyers in the local post offices and at the gas station in Cliff, and people come from miles around to visit and learn with us.
I sorely miss these gatherings already. So, if you want to take in these (Un)Field School posts and videos of an evening, with a fan blowing on you and the sounds of your local fauna coming through a window or screen door, that would not be amiss. It’d be right in the spirit of things.
And this: Ask questions. In the field, our visitors answer questions from the moment they arrive—at the excavation site, over dinner, after their lectures. For our students, this is an important part of learning new information and figuring out how to forge a career path, especially for those who want to combine interests (like archaeology and philosophy or archaeology and plant biology). If you scroll to the very bottom of any post, you’ll see a comment field where you can ask questions and join the discussion. And of course you can ask in a comment to any of our Facebook and Instagram shares. We’ll be watching for your questions and getting back to you as soon as we can.
Your participation means a lot to us. Thanks for coming along with (Un)Field School and learning together.