Thursday, March 15, 2012

Taos Archaeological Field School

THE PROJECT: Metropolitan State College of Denver (MSCD) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are offering interested persons the opportunity to participate in the Summer, 2012 Field Expedition to Northern New Mexico for work at an archaeological cave site just west of Taos in the northern Rio Grande Basin. The MSCD/BLM project is in its second season of research.

The project is structured as a field school in archaeology combined with laboratory experience. Nine semester hours of credit are available. Because the class has both a lower-division and upper division option, students with or without prior experience can take the class (we are seeking a mix of experienced and first-time students). Directing the project are Drs. Maxine McBrinn and Jonathan Kent, Metropolitan State College of Denver.

BACKGROUND: Last summer, an intensive survey was performed around the cave and maps were prepared for use during this season's excavations. This summer, our goal is to open a trench in front of the cave entrance to work out the stratification of the cultural deposits and then expand our excavations inside the cave. In addition to excavation training, students will receive instruction in survey and laboratory methods. Preliminary analyses of pottery, stone tools, and perishable items is anticipated, along with some training in the basics of field conservation. We also plan to visit some other sites in the Southwest, including Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, and to spend a few days on the Ute Mountain reservation in SW Colorado.

DATES: Participation in the archaeological field school is for seven weeks from May 21, 2012 through July 3, 2012.

PARTICIPANT COSTS: $1,750.00 (which includes a $250.00, non-refundable deposit due March 30 along with a completed application questionnaire obtainable from Kent, McBrinn, or the Anthropology office in West Classroom 158). Balance is due on April 27, 2012. Payment covers meals six days a week at the research camp; general archaeological field gear, research equipment and supplies; preparatory materials including details on the project's objectives, a recommended readings list, and any project updates; pre-departure lectures (for those in Denver); lectures and seminars in the field; and suggestions for packing. Not included are: R.T. travel costs to and from Taos, New Mexico, camping equipment and other personal gear; health insurance (proof of coverage is required); and, college tuition (check with college on cost for 9 summer hours).

CONTACTS: For questionnaires, payments, or for any additional information, contact Dr. Jonathan D. Kent (e-mail:, Campus Box 28, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Denver, CO 80217-3362. Telephone: (303) 556-2933). Also, application questionnaires can also be obtained from Dr. McBrinn (same address; or the Anthropology office (West Classroom 158)

DEADLINES: A completed questionnaire and $250 deposit are due March 30. Because we are limiting participation to between 13 – 15 participants, some applications may not be approved. If that is the case, the deposit and any moneys paid will be refunded within two weeks of notification of applicant. Balance is due no later than April 27, 2012.

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