What We Do: Investigations

Mule Creek and the Upper Gila: Preservation Archaeology in Action

Enjoy this introduction to Archaeology Southwest’s integrated Preservation Archaeology program in the Upper Gila River region of southwestern New Mexico. Hold your cursor over each image to view captions.

  1. Road through Mule Creek

    Welcome to this short tour of the Archaeology Southwest/University of Arizona Preservation Archaeology Field school based at the Rocker Diamond X ranch in Mule Creek, New Mexico.
  2. Our visit to San Xavier Mission was a highlight of the 2013 field school orientation in Tucson.

  3. 2013 field school students and some staff members en route to our field camp.

  4. Campsite Living

    Your home away from home for 6 weeks.
  5. Alpaca at Mule Creek

    Some of our friendly neighbors.
  6. Elk at Mule Creek

    More of our friendly (but shy) neighbors.
  7. Making New Friends

    Expect to make new acquaintances—of all kinds.
  8. The Field House

    The field house is where we meet for meals, lectures, and lab activities.
  9. Solar Showers

    The solar shower facility, constructed using adobe bricks made at the ranch.
  10. Monsoon Rains

    Besides solar showers, rain showers are also common during Mule Creek summers.
  11. Summer storms make for good photo opportunities.

  12. Mule Creek

    A great place to cool down after a hard day of work.
  13. Mule Creek Sunset

  14. Lab at Mule Creek

    The lab can also serve as a movie theater and lecture space.
  15. Everyone enjoyed the hands-on ground stone analysis workshop with Jenny Adams in 2013.

  16. Flintknapping workshop in the fire pit

  17. 2013 Mule Creek students in the field.

  18. Photographing Our Progress

    Buckets serve multiple purposes out in the field.
  19. Inspecting an artifact.

  20. Katherine Dungan marks the site of excavation.

  21. Screening for artifacts.

  22. Measuring – we do A LOT of measuring

  23. Screening feature fill through fine mesh to recover small bones and seeds

  24. Basket fragment from 2011 excavations

  25. Backfilling an excavation.

  26. Sharing with the Community

    Students and staff share artifacts and other discoveries with the surrounding community-members.
  27. Students talk with community members at our 2013 public outreach event in Cliff/Gila.

  28. Community Outreach

    Field School students engage in outreach activities for children and adults alike.
  29. Hands-On Activities

    Several of the outreach activities involve making tools used by people long ago.
  30. Flintknapping demo at our 2013 public outreach event in Cliff/Gila.

  31. Community Archaeology

    Student videographer Danny Beard interviews a community member about archaeology.
  32. Gila Cliff Dwellings

    One of the many field trips students enjoy during this experience.
  33. Visiting the Gila Cliff Dwellings in 2013

  34. Students at the Gila Cliff Dwellings

  35. A view of the Mule Creek Valley from our 2013 survey area in the Gila National Forest.

  36. Students at work at the Dinwiddie site.

  37. Students at work at the Dinwiddie site.

  38. Students at work at the Dinwiddie site.

  39. Students at work at the Dinwiddie site.

  40. Learning to use the Trimble GPS unit.

  41. At work in our lab tent.

  42. Mule Creek Obsidian

    A tour of the Mule Creek obsidian source near our field camp. Obsidian nodules are eroding out of volcanic deposits here.
  43. Mule Creek Obsidian

    A tour of the Mule Creek obsidian source near our field camp. Obsidian nodules are eroding out of volcanic deposits here
  44. Hiking the catwalk along the Upper Gila in nearby Glenwood, NM

  45. Field trip to Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

  46. Students at Chaco Canyon

  47. Within Chaco Canyon

  48. Chaco Canyon

    Dr. Paul Reed leads our tour at Casa Rinconada in Chaco Canyon.
  49. Overlook at Chaco Canyon

  50. Paul Reed guides students through Chaco Canyon

  51. Students at Chaco Canyon

  52. Evenings at Mule Creek

  53. Nightfall at Mule Creek

    Students wind down at the fire pit, a great place to relax after a full day of fieldwork.


» Preservation Archaeology Field School here »
» Our blog on fieldwork and ongoing research here »
» Migration and Change in the Southern Southwest here »
» Archaeology Southwest Magazine Vol. 26, Nos. 3 & 4 here »
» Preservation Archaeologist Deborah Huntley’s “Tea and Archaeology” presentation on the Upper Gila research program (video) here »

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