Archaeology Opportunities

Starting next week from May 23rd through June 10th, Courson Archaeological Research will be hosting an archaeological field school near Perryton in the Canadian River valley. The field school will take place on Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and there will also be brief lectures and presentations several evenings.

From May 23rd to June 3rd, excavations will be at three sites—Chill Hill, Eastview, and Spider Peak. Chill Hill, a large village site that dates back to the Late Middle Ceramic period (A.D. 1415 to A.D. 1440); its occupants were intense bison hunters who traded with the eastern Pueblos of New Mexico. Eastview is a small settlement from the Middle Ceramic period. It was attacked and destroyed around A.D. 1350. Field School participants will excavate two burned structures at the site. Spider Peak, which is located atop an isolated mesa, was a defensive settlement in the Late Archaic period. Those who don’t participate in the excavations will have the option to process artifacts in the field laboratory.

The second session will be from June 3rd to June 10th, and participants will do a systematic metal detecting survey of historic Indian, buffalo hunter, and military encampments.

Participants will be trained in a variety of techniques, including identifying and exposing cultural features; mapping and recording of artifacts, profiles, and features; coring; collecting specialized samples; photography; and water screening. Laboratory activities will include artifact identification, stabilization, and cleaning; cataloging; recordkeeping; soil flotation; and cleaning metal artifacts using electrolytic baths. Participants have the option to sign up for college credit through West Texas A&M University.

For additional information, visit the Courson Archaeological Research site.

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