Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Prehistoric Archaeology in Southwest New Mexico-Summer 2007

Find the 2008 program here.

Academic Program:
Arizona State University is pleased to announce its 2007 summer program in Prehistoric Southwest Archaeology. The primary field site is in the Black Range in southwest New Mexico, in the beautiful and remote eastern Mimbres area.
Undergraduate and graduate students will receive training in archaeological excavation, survey, artifact recording and analysis while participating in ongoing research concerning social and economic reorganization in southwest New Mexico in the 13th and 14th centuries. Along with essential technical skills, the program emphasizes the construction of research strategies that are effective in answering anthropological questions. Field training is integrated with lectures and discussions concerning archaeological method and theory and the natural environment, prehistory, and ethnography of the Southwest.
The field school enrolls students with a variety of backgrounds, but we expect that the majority of participants will be professionally oriented. Students may conduct an original research project based on project data. Field trips provide regional context for the research, and visiting scholars from ASU and other institutions will provide evening programs.

Research Focus:
The 2007 Southwest field school is part of the Mogollon Prehistoric Landscapes Project, a research program investigating 13th and 14th century occupations in southwest New Mexico. Villages from this period show a fascinating diversity in architecture and ceramics, and as a result have been attributed to several different cultural traditions. We investigate the growth of these villages from both local reorganization after the Classic Mimbres Period (A.D. 1000-1130) and from a variety of new pan-regional relationships that developed following the end of the Mimbres Mogollon tradition.

Earlier surveys in the study area located over 70 Classic and Postclassic Mimbres sites. Numerous sites from the 12th century have been excavated, but little is known about later occupations in the area. Our research for 2007 focuses on archaeological survey of sites from the 13th and 14th centuries, and excavation at a large village from this period on the Palomas drainage. Research may be extended to other contemporaneous sites as time allows.

Our research focuses on social and ecological aspects of settlement reorganization after the Classic Mimbres Period. We are interested in the degree to which diverse ceramic and architectural traditions in villages from this period are local manifestations of distant traditions, or are more closely linked to populations in surrounding regions. We are also interested in the impacts of human land use strategies on the local environment. In other areas of the Southwest, periods of social transformation were often linked to substantial and lasting regional depopulation, but in parts of the Mogollon area large villages were established within 100 years of the depopulation of Classic Mimbres villages. We are interested in the processes involved in this reorganization, including how diversity emerges from homogeneity.

Directors and Staff:
The field school is directed jointly by Margaret Nelson, Michelle Hegmon, Steve Swanson and Karen Schollmeyer. Drs. Nelson and Hegmon are professors at Arizona State University; Swanson and Schollmeyer are advanced graduate students completing their dissertations in Mogollon archaeology. The project directors are assisted by a staff of experienced graduate students. The staff:student ratio is very high (approximately 1:2) and students receive a great deal of individual attention and hands-on experience.

Field camp and atmosphere:
The field camp is centered on a ranch building with bathrooms, kitchen, and laboratory space and limited electricity. Students must provide their own tents, and will sleep in their tents near the main building. Project staff will prepare meals. The setting is remote and access to amenities is limited, but wildlife and natural beauty are abundant.
This is an intense field project involving long hours of hard work. Students who are serious about archaeology and who want to participate in research will find the field school a wonderful learning environment.

Application and enrollment:
The field school lasts five weeks, from May 27 to June 29. Enrollment is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Students should have completed at least one course in either anthropology or archaeology and be in good physical condition. All students must register for 6 semester hours of graduate or undergraduate credit. ASU tuition for undergraduate credit is approximately $1362 (Arizona resident) or $2376 (nonresident); tuition for graduate credit is approximately $1728 (resident) or $3012 (nonresident). An additional fee of $1000 covers field costs, including camp meals, supplies, and transportation from Truth or Consequences or Albuquerque and while in the field. Both charges are payable before May 2, 2007.

Enrollment is limited to 12 students, and it is advisable to apply early.
The application deadline is March 5, 2007.
Address application requests to:
Steve Swanson
Archaeological Field School
School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287-2402

Application form for the Program can be downloaded from here.