An Ancient Training Ground for Future Archaeologists

In terms of archaeology, the Four Corners region in America's Southwest is something of a North American Egypt.

IMG_0066_L.jpgWhich makes it the perfect location for an archaeological field school.



Time Team America partnered with the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado, to train high school students from Southwest Colorado and New Mexico in the exploration of ancient Pueblo cultures, and the science of archaeology.


Students learned to study artifacts within the context of the culture that created them. Below, Josh examines the difference between a rock and a mano, a stone tool used by the Pueblo people to grind grain into meal.

josh_mano.jpgThe Field School's experiential approach immersed students in Pueblo life to better understand the people and cultures whose artifacts and dwellings they would later excavate. Here, Audrey practices weaving techniques in Crow Canyon's reconstructed pueblo.

Audrey.jpgAt nearby Mesa Verde National Park, the field school participants explored some of the most spectacular ruins in North America. Here Keanna demonstrates the use of a mano at the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.

keanna_mano_L.jpgStudents were given an exclusive opportunity to excavate a Basketmaker III site under the supervision of professional archaeologists, including experts from Time Team America.

CCfield school_4shot.jpgAfter excavating, students learned the importance of analysis back at the Crow Canyon lab, where artifacts were sorted, washed, weighed, and databased.

lab_4shot_L.jpgStudents came from different backgrounds and regions and latched onto different aspects of archaeological science. But by the end of the week, they were unanimous on one point: they didn't want field school to be over.

"The best part." Hanna said, "is finding something and being the first person to touch it in a thousand years."
"That," Aaron added, "and being able to get your hands in the field, instead of typing on a keyboard."