Independence Creek Preserve

June 1st to July 1st, 2010

This is a fun and exciting opportunity to study archaeology, hands-on, in a beautiful portion of western Texas, as well as a chance to contribute to our growing understanding of prehistoric lifeways in the Trans-Pecos region.

This six credit hour course teaches archaeological field techniques to undergraduate and graduate students. You will be working side by side with experienced, professional archaeologists. Their teaching methods will help you learn and develop field techniques that include mapping, profiling, survey, and excavation. The fieldwork is augmented by an intensive program of guest lectures, field trips, discussions, and laboratory work. All food is provided, with breakfast and dinner prepared by a camp cook, and accommodations at a ranch house and lodge. Expect warm to hot temperatures—shade set ups will be used during the excavations.

The course will be held on the Nature Conservancy’s Independence Creek preserve in Terrell County, southwest Texas. The preserve is located north of Dryden and is situated along a major tributary to the Pecos River. This is an exceptional setting of particular interest because it is situated at the transitional boundary between the Lower Pecos archaeological region and the eastern Trans-Pecos archaeological region. A portion of the field school will involve excavation of a substantial midden deposit that includes the remains of at least one bison. Students will also participate in pedestrian survey, site recording, and subsurface testing of the more promising sites.

Generally, the field school will consist of five 5-day sessions (Monday to Friday) with weekend breaks. However, some flexibility may be exercised to accommodate weather and fieldtrip logistics. The Independence Creek preserve has ample accommodations, including bunkhouse lodging and individual rooms, kitchen facilities, laundry, and telephones. At least three days will be dedicated to travel to noteworthy archaeological sites in the area as an educational tour.