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Archaeology Research Program
An archaeology adventure for adults in the American Southwest!
Have you ever wanted to excavate at a real archaeological site? Or wondered how the study of ancient architecture and artifacts helps us learn about the human past? Then come to a Crow Canyon Archaeology Research Program and join our professional researchers in the field and in the lab. By actively participating in Crow Canyon's ongoing research, you'll contribute to our understanding of the ancestral Pueblo Indians (the Anasazi) who inhabited the spectacular mesas, canyons, and plains of the Mesa Verde region for more than 1,500 years.
Working at our excavation site, you'll learn basic excavation techniques and how to identify the artifacts you find. And in our lab, you'll wash and catalog a variety of pottery and stone tools that provide insight into how the ancestral Pueblo people met the challenge of living off this beautiful, but rugged, land.
Throughout the week, you'll enjoy fine meals, comfortable accommodations, and camaraderie with people from all walks of life who share your passion for archaeology. Join us in 2013 for an unforgettable week of learning, exploration, and fun!
Read a message from Shanna Diederichs about our current research project, the Basketmaker Communities Project: Early Pueblo Society in the Mesa Verde Region.
Weeks Open to Novices and Alumni
Week Open to Alumni Only
Novice: Member* $1,495; Nonmember: $1,620
Balance due: Full amount is due 45 days before the program start date. Cancellation at any time: $200 handling fee. Cancellation within 40 days of the program start date: forfeiture of all payments.
Educational Focus and the Week's Activities
The Archaeology Research Program provides a basic introduction to the archaeology of the Mesa Verde region and the ancestral Pueblo Indians. Numerous hands-on activities throughout the week provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn by doing.
Your week will include:
"Inquiries Into the Past," an introductory session to teach you about the general history of the ancestral Pueblo Indians
Excavation at our current research site, alongside our professional archaeologists and educators
Laboratory processing, including washing and cataloging pottery, stone tools, and other artifacts
A tour of our temporary curation facility to learn more about artifacts and to view collections from recent excavations
A special guided tour of Mesa Verde National Park, a World Heritage site
Evening programs on several nights, including an introduction to Crow Canyon's research and presentations by staff archaeologists or guest lecturers on their current research in Southwestern archaeology
Activities and schedules subject to change.
Is This Your First Excavation Program?
Program for Novices
As a first-time participant in the Archaeology Research Program, you'll get an overview of the history of the Mesa Verde region through a hands-on activity called "Inquiries into the Past." To help you prepare for the field and laboratory, we provide an introduction to Crow Canyon's research lab, take you on a daylong tour of Mesa Verde National Park (a World Heritage site), and teach you basic excavation methods in a "simulated dig" exercise. The remainder of your week will be spent excavating at Crow Canyon's current site, processing or analyzing artifacts in the lab, and enjoying evening programs devoted to topics of current interest in Southwestern archaeology. See weekly schedule for novices for details.
Have You Been Here Before?
Program for Alumni
Individuals who have already participated in an Archaeology Research Program do not repeat the introductory sessions, and they spend additional time contributing directly to our research. As an alumnus or alumna, you will participate in a special field activity on Monday and will spend more time excavating at the site, in addition to analyzing artifacts in the lab. Evening presentations will be offered by staff archaeologists or visiting scholars. See weekly schedule for alumni for details.
The final session of Archaeology Research Program, October 6–12, is reserved for alumni only. During this week, alumni will help us wrap up our excavations for the year. Lab analysis and evening programs are also included. Of course, alumni are welcome to attend other sessions throughout the season as well.
What to Expect
Archaeological fieldwork requires hiking a short distance to reach the site, lifting buckets of dirt, kneeling on the ground, and working at an elevation of 6200 feet. You will work at your own pace, but the experience will be more enjoyable if you are in good physical condition. Call us if you have questions about your ability to participate in this program. Variables such as weather conditions or group size may require some adjustments in your schedule.
Continuing Education Units
Two Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Adams State College are available for an additional fee. Please call Crow Canyon for details: 800.565.8975, ext. 146.
Archaeology Research Program Details
Tuition: Tuition covers accommodations, meals, entry fees and permits, and local transportation after your arrival in Cortez until your departure from Cortez. Transportation to and from Cortez is your responsibility.
Accommodations: Our 170-acre campus provides space for relaxing, watching wildlife, walking through the pinyon and juniper woods, and enjoying panoramic mountain views from the rocking chairs on the lodge deck. We provide shared accommodations in comfortable, Navajo-style log cabins (hogans). Private rooms are not available and, depending on enrollment, couples might not be housed together. Shared, modern shower and toilet facilities are located in a separate building adjacent to the hogans. You will need to provide your own bedding and towels.
If you're thinking about joining us for back-to-back sessions, you can stay over on a Saturday night for an additional $40 per person. Saturday lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday breakfast and lunch, will be on your own.
Be sure to see Plan Your Visit to learn more about Crow Canyon and our campus.
Sharing the Campus: The Crow Canyon campus is a center of learning for children, teens, and adults! During an Archaeology Research Program, including the session reserved for alumni, you may be sharing the campus with others, including children in school group programs.
Meals: Three delicious meals are served each day. You'll be treated to delectable, healthy meals that feature hearty entrees, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a salad bar. Most special diets can be accommodated.
Terms and Conditions
Go to Terms and Conditions for more information about tuition, cancellation and refund policies, and accommodations.
Reserve Your Spot in this Archaeology Adventure
It's easy to reserve your spot in an Archaeology Research Program. If you want to sign up online now, click on the button at the top of this page. Or, you may call or e-mail the enrollment manager: 970.564.4346 (toll-free 800.422.8975, ext. 146), email@example.com.
The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center's programs and admission practices are open to applicants of any race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, or sexual orientation.
Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California
Copyright © 2012 by Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. All rights reserved.