One month archaeology dig near Trinidad this summer!

Learn archaeology in the canyon lands of southeast Colorado beginning on June 3, 2019.

Sign up for ANT 103 or SCI105 at Trinidad State and you’ll spend five days a week for a month digging, mapping, surveying, sketching petroglyphs, and cataloging known ancient native American sites as well as looking for more.

The first three weeks students will work at the Medina Rock Shelter at JE Canyon Ranch (a Nature Conservancy property), an hour east of Trinidad. Indoor sleeping accommodations will be provided at no cost at a bunkhouse 45 minutes away (by four-wheel drive). Food will cost $20 a week. Students must bring their own toiletries, towel and bedding (or sleeping bag). Transportation will be provided from Trinidad, Colorado to the site each Monday morning and back to Trinidad each Friday evening.

Students must be prepared to hike long distances and spend all day in the sun. The weather may be hot and there may be stinging insects and snakes. Students will also need to bring a small shovel and field notebook. Students must be prepared to help with cooking and other chores. Cell service is available at the bunkhouse. The instructor is Kimberly Munro. She will oversee all field operations and provide two evening lectures a week on the history of the area, field methods and related topics to give students a true immersive archaeology foundation. This is the best way to learn the basic skills needed in archaeology.

The class is worth three credit-hours and will run Monday through Friday from June 3 to June 21, 2019. This is a guaranteed transfer class. The following week, June 24 through 28, students may also enroll in a companion one credit-hour class where artifacts found at the dig site will be cataloged and studied.

Dr. MunroeInstructor : Kimberly Munro, Ph.D.
Kimberly Munro is an Andean archaeologist with over a decade of experience working in Peru. She is the director of the Cosma Archaeological Project, a long-term research project involving excavation and survey, in the Andean central highlands, specifically in the Caceres District of Peru.

Kimberly earned a dual B.A. degree in Anthropology and Religious Studies in 2007 from Florida State University and also holds a M.S. in Geography (Geographic Information Sciences) from FSU. She attended Louisiana State University for her doctoral degree, and successfully defended her PhD dissertation.

She has previously taught World Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology at LSU, as well as taught archaeological methods in the field through the Cosma Archaeological Project field school. In addition to her excavations in the Central Andes, she previously spent several years working in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) for the National Park and National Forest services.

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Site Location : JE Canyon Ranch - Nature Conservancy

Courtesy JE Canyon Ranch from Mirr Ranch Group on Vimeo.

The study site is remote. Course will require students be able to hike several miles in rough/uneven terrain for extended periods of time. Students will need to carry equipment, gear, food, and specimens to/from the study site. Faculty and students will be outside most of each day. Weather conditions will vary. Expect long days of hot, dry, and sunny conditions. There is a possibility of encountering wild animals including biting/stinging insects, snakes, and the like. A medical information sheet and medical release form will be required.

The Medina rock shelter was occupied by Native American people and later by Hispanic homesteaders. Dr. Robert Campbell conducted the first scientific archeological investigations at Medina in the 1960s. His relatively limited excavations indicated the earliest evidence of human occupation began in Archaic period (approximately 7000 years ago).

The purpose of the 2019 Trinidad State field school is to learn more about this early occupation and possibly find earlier evidence of the Folsom Culture from the Paleoindian period (11,000- 9,000 years ago). The discovery of the first Folsom site was made just across the New Mexican border, only 20 miles from the Medina rock shelter (as a crow flies). Campbell’s original excavations found plenty of evidence that the ancestors of the nomadic plains Indians utilized the Medina site. And there is ample evidence that the rock shelter at Medina would have been a prime location for earlier nomadic groups to camp for brief periods as well.

Our test excavations will focus on locating the densest areas of cultural occupation. The cultural material will likely include plant seeds and animal bones, basketry and ceramic materials, as well as lithics (projectile points, knives, and the small flakes created during their production). These artifacts will give us some idea of the length of occupations, what seasons people lived there, and how long they stayed. Ultimately these artifacts will be processed and studied at the Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum at Trinidad State.

The field school itself will teach students archaeological methods, such as digging in excavation units, utilizing trowels and brushes – as well as using sifter screens for finding any buried artifacts not found in situ (in place). We will also teach students how to take soil and pollen (phytolith samples), soil descriptions, and samples for radiocarbon dating. At the end of the field school, students will be able to tell the difference between archaeological features, identify artifacts and ecofacts, layout excavation units, and draw/map archaeological sites. Additionally, an element of the field school will include archaeological survey of JE Canyon (where the Medina Rock Shelter is located). Campbell located several additional sites in the canyon, which included petroglyphs and additional rock art. Survey will include GPSing and orienteering within the canyon, and producing site descriptions for archaeological reports.

Normal Tuition/Fees per credit hour
+ $20/week for food
Lodging and transportation (from Trinidad, Colorado) is FREE.

Course Details :
Archaelology Dig location
ANT 103 is a one credit hour “lab” class. Archaeology Laboratory: GT SS3
Studies analytical methods in archaeological research including those employed in the field and in the laboratory. This course utilizes practical exercises to illustrate theoretical principles of archaeology, including methods of archaeological survey, excavation, artifact analysis, collection strategies, mapping strategies, and field interpretation. This is a statewide Guaranteed Transfer course in the GT-SS3 category.

SCI 105 is a 3 credit hour class. Science in Society: GT SC2
Examines issues relating to the way science interacts with society. A selection of issues from information technology, the environment and earth science, physics and astronomy, biology, medicine, and the interaction of science with politics will be examined, as informed by current events. Emphasis will be on research, inquiry, and critical analysis of science-related issues, including the negative and positive roles of science in society. This is a statewide Guaranteed Transfer course in the GT-SC2 category.

Students can take both classes or one. Their choice. Both have Guaranteed Transfer designations meaning they can satisfy SC2 or SS3 requirements anywhere in the state of Colorado.

Transportation is provided. Daily commute is not practical. Students will live and study on-site.

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