Arizona State University 
Archaeological Field School
The El Morro Valley
Prehistory Project
West Central New Mexico 
Summer 2004
May 30 through July 3, 2004
updated 1/19/04
Application Deadline March 12, 2004

For the summer of 2004 the ASU Summer Archaeological Field School, directed by Professor Keith Kintigh, will be located in the archaeological rich and visually dramatic mesa country in west-central New Mexico immediately east of the Zuni Indian Reservation, near El Morro National Monument.  Graduate and undergraduate students receive intensive training in archaeological field methods while participating in ongoing research concerning population movement and social integration in an area of the Southwest with an unusually rich and varied archaeological record.  Unlike many field schools, field experience includes both excavation and archaeological survey.  In addition, students gain experience in artifact recording, and analysis 

Along with essential technical skills, the program emphasizes the construction of research strategies that are effective in addressing anthropological questions. Field training is integrated with lectures on archaeological method and theory and the prehistory and ethnography of the Southwest. Field trips to Cíbola area ruins provide a regional context for the research. Evening lectures by visiting scholars from ASU and other institutions further enhance the academic program.

The field school enrolls undergraduate and graduate students with diverse backgrounds but a majority of the participants generally contemplate a professional orientation. Graduate students will conduct a small original research project based on project data.

Research Focus.  The El Morro Valley Prehistory Project seeks to understand the organizational dynamics that led to the founding, in the early AD 1200s, of a large number of small pueblos clustered within the El Morro Valley and, with their abandonment, to the establishment of the large Pueblo IV towns about AD 1275. Prior to the AD 1200s, the El Morro area appears to have been used as a resource gathering area. Archaeological sites from this early period are quite rare in comparison to surrounding areas. However, by the mid-1200s, a massive population influx had occurred, and in a short time, hundreds of ancestral Puebloan farmers resided in the valley, making it one of the demographic centers of the region. 

Communities founded during the initial decades of the AD 1200s  exhibit a range of variation in public architecture, settlement pattern, and size. The growth of these communities corresponded with widespread settlement changes throughout much of west-central New Mexico, and likely attracted people from a wide area. Our research examines the process of community formation during this critical change. What types of social groups were involved? Were communities in the El Morro Valley formed by groups with diverse origins? Or were people more likely to reside with others from their own area? How were changes in community organization in the El Morro Valley linked to pan-Southwestern trends in ritual and settlement? The El Morro Valley Prehistory Project is examining these questions (and more) through systematic excavations at a wide range of both large and small residential sites and by targeting key areas to augment a large, existing body of archaeological survey data.
In the summer of 2003, the project began to investigate the Los Gigantes post-Chacoan great house and its surrounding residential community (left). Our excavations were focused on providing artifacts and chronometric samples in order to investigate issues of chronology and site occupation length. We tested the great house and associated great kiva as well as a number of nearby residential sites. One of these sites was selected for intensive excavation in order to use ceramic discard measures to estimate the duration of occupation. In addition, we conducted test excavations at three residential sites located outside of the community core. Artifact samples from these sites will enable comparisons of chronology and exchange patterns over a broad area. We also surveyed roughly 800 acres in an area of dense ancestral Puebloan occupation, recording a number of large, Pueblo III period residential sites, including one with a potential great kiva.

This work will continue in 2004, with more intensive excavations at the great house and a few of the smaller pueblos and limited testing at several others. We hope to expand the spatial extent of our testing program by examining residential sites in adjacent, separate communities The 2004 field work will also extend our full-coverage survey of substantial blocks of the El Morro Valley.

Director and Staff. Keith Kintigh, Professor of Anthropology at Arizona State University directs the field school. Professor Kintigh has focused a long-term research effort on the late prehistory of the Zuni and upper Little Colorado areas and works extensively in the development of quantitative methods for archaeological analysis. Gregson Schachner, an ASU PhD Candidate in archaeology will co-direct this research.  In guiding the research, the full-time directors are assisted by three advanced archaeology graduate students from ASU. 

Field Camp. The field camp is located in a scenic forested area near the field work.  A camp cook prepares meals. Necessary field equipment will be provided, except for a tent, sleeping bag, and personal items. At an elevation of 7300 feet, we expect warm days and cool nights with afternoon rain late in the season.

Application and Enrollment. The field school lasts five weeks, from May 30 through July 3, 2004. Enrollment is open to undergraduate and graduate students from any university or college. We expect to enroll about 15 students.  Students should have had at least one course in either anthropology or archaeology and be in good physical condition. Students must register for 6 semester hours of undergraduate or graduate credit, for which the  tuition (resident or non-resident) is $1108 for undergraduates and $1174 for graduate students. An additional fee of $800 for the five week session covers room, board, supplies, and transportation while in the field and round trip travel from Albuquerque to the field camp. Both charges are payable before May 1, 2004.

An application and recommendation forms can be downloaded from the links immediately following this paragraph.  The deadline for receipt of all application materials, including the application, transcript and recommendation form, is March 12, 2004. Decisions on acceptance, based on a competitive evaluation of completed applications, will be made by April 1, 2004.  To the extent possible, communications will be via email so applicants should ensure that we continue to have a current email address. 

Forms to Download:  
Application Form (html) & Recommendation Form (html) 
PDF Files:
Flyer (web page information in tri-fold brochure format; ~500K; Available 1 January, 2004).
Application Form (pdf) & Recommendation Form (pdf) (each ~ 30K)

Address Queries to:

Prof. Keith Kintigh
Department of Anthropology
Box 872402
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287-2402



480-965-6909 (office) 
480-965-6213 (main) 
480-965-7671 (fax)

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