Southwest Archaeological Field Work 2016


The summer field season has wrapped up. The students are back in their hometowns and cooling off from the extreme Arizona heat. This summer marks summer #3 of archaeological fieldwork for me and boy was it an incredible experience. I spent it yet again in the American Southwest, a place riddled with the remains of past human life. Of course, as before, the location of my work will remain private. There is such a horrible looting problem and I’d rather not contribute to or provoke those actions.

For starters, this was the first year I’ve been out in the field and have had the role of being a crew chief. Meaning I was in charge of the excavation of a unit and was responsible for teaching a new group of students every week of the proper procedures and tedious process of archaeological excavation. IMG_5572

Although there were times things got a little heated (literally and metaphorically), the students this field season were excellent. Such a wonderful group of humans working together towards a common goal, whether it was excavation of the pueblo or survey of the surrounding land. A hard working bunch with a strong desire to learn. I couldn’t continue this post without acknowledging their drive, without which our work would be much more difficult and near impossible. IMG_5585

That being said, we accomplished so much this summer. Excavation in my unit in particular yielded such amazing information including evidence of ritual closure. Many ceramic sherds were found along with a full projectile point, bone beads and a few awesome features. All of this was found underneath wall fall, which seems to have been pushed down intentionally as a way of closing the space (extramural). It was truly incredible.

Survey of course revealed so much information that we did not expect. So many new archaeological sites were found ranging from Paleo sites to Pueblo period. This area isn’t known for having paleo sites so these findings are incredibly important for the archaeological record.

All in all, a fantastic field season with amazing people and wonderful finds. I apologize for the vagueness of the findings. I cannot describe with too much detail the area or the findings due to sensitivities of both site integrity and the living descendants of these past peoples.

To everyone reading this: Please understand that we must protect these cultural resources. Do not pick up or destroy archaeological remains of any sort and take it away from it’s context. As archaeologists, we need things to remain where they are found in order to learn anything from them. Respect the archaeological record and the descendants of the people who left them.