Uncovering Our History

As you make your summer plans, don’t forget to include the Courson Archaeological Research (CAR) field school, which will be held weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 24 through June 4.

Experienced leaders will guide activities that include helping with field excavations, processing artifacts, and participating in a systematic metal detecting survey. Several evenings, there also will be presentations on the archaeology and history of the region.

Excavations will be at three sites—Chill Hill, Eastview, and Spider Peak. The residents at Chill Hill, which dates back to 1415 to 1440, were bison hunters, and they traded with the eastern Pueblos of New Mexico. Eastview was attacked and destroyed around 1350, and its excavations will center around two burned structures at the site. Spider Peak’s age is unknown, but it was a defensive settlement.

You have the option to sign up for one- or two-week sessions, and three hours of college credit are available through West Texas A&M. Participation is limited to 100, though, so don’t wait to sign up. For more information about the field school, visit www.coursonarchresearch.com.

Courson Archaeological Research

For those who aren’t familiar with CAR, it’s a nonprofit research group initiated by local residents Harold and Kirk Courson. Head research archaeologist Dr. Scott Brosowske leads professionally-trained employees, along with volunteers, in archaeological fieldwork, lab analysis, and experiential studies to learn more about Ochiltree County’s history.

CAR is making unprecedented discoveries right in our own backyard. Excavations span from the Buried City near Wolf Creek Park to the county’s southern borders near the Canadian River, and artifacts date from Christ’s time to the Civil War. Last spring, CAR also planted the Wolf Creek Indian Garden with the same types of unexpected crops the Buried City people grew during the Middle Ceramic period (1250 to 1400).

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