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Archaeology Internships

The application period for the 2014 archaeology internships has closed. This page is provided for general informational purposes only.

Please check back later this fall for information on 2015 internships.

Crow Canyon Research

Crow Canyon's research focuses on the ancestral Pueblo (Anasazi) occupation of the Mesa Verde region. In 2014, we will continue our study of the Basketmaker III period (A.D. 500–750) as part of a multiyear project titled the Basketmaker Communities Project: Early Pueblo Society in the Mesa Verde Region. This study examines the origins of the Mesa Verde Pueblo tradition through test and intensive excavations at a seventh-century Basketmaker community. The centerpiece of the project is the Dillard site, a community center that includes a great kiva.

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center maintains high standards of research and scholarship. Students and adults participating in the Center's programs are closely supervised by research and education staff members in the field and the lab, ensuring a positive learning experience for them, as well as high-quality research for the profession. In addition, American Indians—many of them descendants of the ancestral Pueblo people—consult on all facets of our research, and colleagues from many other disciplines contribute their expertise to help us achieve our objectives. In such an environment, archaeology interns have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in working with, and learning from, a wide variety of people.

Intern Network

What Do Archaeology Interns Do?

Field interns will gain experience in some or all of the following areas:

  • instructing and supervising lay participants in basic excavation techniques and archaeological concepts
  • answering questions about research that are posed by site visitors
  • excavating and recording architectural and nonarchitectural contexts
  • maintaining provenience control for excavated contexts and cultural materials
  • writing narrative notes and completing provenience forms
  • drawing measured plan maps and cross sections
  • drawing and describing stratigraphic profiles
  • using a total station
  • photographing archaeological contexts
  • surveying for buried structures using electrical-resisitivity geophysical equipment
Laboratory interns will gain experience in some or all of the following areas:
  • processing archaeological specimens and samples
  • maintaining provenience control for cultural materials and records
  • analyzing a variety of artifacts, including pottery, stone tools, and stone debitage
  • managing archaeological collections using a relational database
  • maintaining a small research library
  • instructing and supervising lay participants in artifact identification and laboratory methods and procedures

Laboratory internships will emphasize cataloging and analysis of archaeological collections, particularly pottery and stone artifacts. Interns will also have the option of working on a special project involving analysis and interpretation of artifact collections.

Archaeobotany interns will gain experience in some or all of the following areas:

  • training in the anatomy of upland Southwest plant taxa commonly found in local archaeological sites
  • training in a variety of approaches to identifying unknown plant specimens
  • the analysis of archaeobotanical samples from ancestral Pueblo sites excavated by Crow Canyon
  • working with relational databases, including data entry and data quality-control tasks
  • the recording of morphological data from maize macrofossils
  • a variety of other laboratory tasks related to management and analysis of archaeobotanical samples

Archaeobotany internships will emphasize cataloging and analysis of archaeobotanical samples, particularly flotation and macrofossil samples. Interns will also have the opportunity to contribute to other laboratory tasks as time permits.


Applicants should meet the following requirements:

  • advanced undergraduate or graduate course work in archaeology, anthropology, museum studies, or related fields
  • minimum of four weeks of archaeological field and/or laboratory experience
  • motivation to improve field, laboratory, and (field and laboratory applicants only) teaching skills
  • ability to work as part of a team (interns attend research staff meetings and participate in discussions about research strategies and organization and scheduling of work)
  • (field and laboratory applicants only) desire to instruct lay participants ranging from fourth graders to adults, many of whom have no previous archaeological experience
  • ability to perform technical work, make careful observations, and record data legibly and accurately


Crow Canyon's 170-acre campus is located in southwestern Colorado, near Mesa Verde National Park and the town of Cortez. Wooded hillsides overlook a grassy meadow, complete with a running stream and small pond. From the porch of the lodge, you can enjoy a spectacular view of both Mesa Verde and the La Plata Mountains.

The following on-campus facilities are available to interns:

  • kitchen and dining room (see "Benefits," below, for weekly rate)
  • Intern cabin
  • shared housing in primitive cabins (see photo at right) with no electricity, water, heat, or air-conditioning; a composting toilet is available adjacent to the cabins, and a modern shower and restroom building is located a short distance away; accommodations may be shared with one other intern (see "Benefits," below, for weekly rate)
  • a 15,000-square-foot building that contains research labs, specimen-processing area, temporary curation space, archives, teaching labs, gift shop, offices, seminar room, and reception area; a 5,000-volume research library focused on Southwestern archaeology and anthropology
  • networked PCs, integrated research database, and Internet connection


Interns are paid $8.00 per hour. A travel allowance (up to $350) is available to help defray travel expenses. You may choose to live on campus (see description of accommodations, above) at a weekly rate of $45 for lodging and meals (when available) in our dining room.

Interns work a five-day week, Monday through Friday. Interns are not eligible for the Crow Canyon benefits package. Crow Canyon does not provide vehicles for personal use.

Course Credit

The Center does not offer course credit for internships, but will gladly certify work/study performed and provide evaluations if students wish to arrange for credit through another institution.