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US-AZ: Coconino

Location: Flagstaff , Arizona, United States

July 8, 2018 to August 4, 2018

Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 20, 2018

Deadline Type: 

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Institute for Field Research, Connecticut College, Statistical Research Inc.

Project Director:

Dr. Richard Ciolek-Torello

Project Description

The major objective of this year’s field school is to prepare students for a career in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) while conducting a small-scale CRM inventory and evaluation project. The field school will take place on the Coconino National Forest on the outskirts of Flagstaff, Arizona, and will be taught by professional archaeologists from Statistical Research, Inc., one of the foremost CRM firms in the world, and the Coconino National Forest. The area has been home to people for many millennia and has a rich archaeological record. The region is best known, however, as the homeland of the Northern Sinagua. The Sinagua first appeared at about CE 650 as small family groups living in pit house communities near the best agricultural soils. Many early researchers suggested that the apparent population explosion that occurred in the eleventh century resulted from the eruption of the nearby Sunset Crater in the late eleventh century. The cinder fall from these eruptions was believed to have greatly increased the extent of arable land by fertilizing the soils and acting as a mulch to retard moisture evaporation. News of this new farmland purportedly spread throughout the Southwest leading to a prehistoric land rush into the area. New interpretations, however, suggest that the influence of Sunset Crater and associated migrations have been overly exaggerated. Rather, environmental change, increasing participation in pan-Southwestern exchange systems, population aggregation, and new agricultural technologies were the major factors in the region’s cultural development.

This season we will train students in basic CRM survey, mapping, excavation, and laboratory methods through an intensive pedestrian survey of Forest lands. Our research goals are to identify and evaluate archaeological resources that can contribute important information regarding past land use and settlement patterns in this area. In addition, we aim to assist the Forest in the management of their archaeological resources.

Period(s) of Occupation: Pre and Post Contact Periods

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Participants are required to stay for the full duration of the field school.

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No prior experience is required to participate in this field school.

Room and Board Arrangements

Students will reside in an informal camp area at Elden Pueblo, the site of a large 12th and 13th century Sinagua ruin, on lands administered by the Coconino National Forest. Students should bring their own tents, sleeping bags, and air mattresses. Personal camp chairs and solar showers are also highly recommended. The field school will provide enclosed portable outdoor showers and portable toilets. Two large tents will serve as the kitchen and dining hall and laboratory and lecture hall, respectively. Facilities of the adjacent Flagstaff Ranger District offices will be available on an as-needed basis. The campground is located in the cool Ponderosa pine forest at approximately 7,000 feet above sea level, so a period of adjustment to the altitude may be necessary. Numerous hiking and mountain bike trails extend from the campground onto Mt. Elden and the adjacent San Francisco Peaks area.

All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious food. Specialized diets (vegetarian, lactose-intolerant, etc.) can be supported, but staff must be notified in advance. Meals will be provided for six days a week. Students will be responsible for their own meals on Sundays.

The field camp is located just outside of the Flagstaff city limits, less than 2 miles from the Flagstaff Mall and other shopping centers, gas stations, restaurants, and fast food facilities. A gas-powered generator will be available evenings to recharge staff and personal electronic devices, although by necessity, the former will have priority. Cell-phone coverage is excellent at the campsite.

Room and board is included in the cost of the field school.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Connecticut College
Number of credits offered 8 Semester Credits


Contact Information
Institute for Field Research
2999 Overland Ave. Suite 103
Los Angeles
Recommended Bibliography: 

Downum, Christopher E.

1992      The Sinagua: Prehistoric People of the San Francisco Mountains. Plateau 63(1).

Ferguson, T.J.

2009      Improving the Quality of Archaeology in the United States through Consultation and Collaboration with Native Americans and Descendant Communities. In Archaeology & Cultural Resource Management: Visions for the Future, edited by Lynne Sebastian and William D. Lipe, pp. 169-193. School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar Series. SAR Press, Santa Fe.


McGregor, John C.

1965      Southwestern Archaeology. The University of Illinois Press. Urbana. [focus on the archaeology of northern and central Arizona: Anasazi, Hohokam, Mogollon, and Sinagua].

Neumann, Thomas W., Robert M. Sanford, and Karen G. Harry

2010      Cultural Resources Archaeology: An Introduction. Altamira Press, Lanham, Maryland.

Lipe, William D.

2009      Archaeological Values and Resource Management. In Archaeology & Cultural Resource Management: Visions for the Future, edited by Lynne Sebastian and William D. Lipe, pp. 41-63. School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar Series. SAR Press, Santa Fe.

Pilles, Peter J., Jr.

1987      Hisatsinom: The Ancient People of Sunset Crater. In Earthfire: A Hopi Legend of the Sunset Crater Eruption, by Ekkehart Malotki with Michael Lomatuway’ma, pp. 105-119. Northland Press, Flagstaff.

1998      The Sinagua Tradition. In Archaeology of Prehistoric Native America: An Encyclopedia, Guy Gibbon, editor, pp 770-772. Garland Publishing, Inc., New York.

Sebastian, Lynne

2009      Deciding What Matters: Archaeology, Eligibility, and Significance. In Archaeology & Cultural Resource Management: Visions for the Future, edited by Lynne Sebastian and William D. Lipe, pp. 91-114. School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar Series. SAR Press, Santa Fe.

Colton, Harold S.

1941      Winona and Ridge Ruin, Part II. Technology and Taxonomy of Pottery, Bulletin 19. Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff.

1946      The Sinagua. A Summary of the Archaeology of the Region of Flagstaff, Arizona. Bulletin 22, Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff.

1960      Black Sand: Prehistory in Northern Arizona. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Kamp, Katherine A., and John C. Whittaker

1990      Lizard Man Village: A Small Site Perspective on Northern Sinagua Social Organization. Kiva 55(2):99-125.

1999      Surviving Adversity: The Sinagua of Lizard Man Village. Anthropological Papers No. 120. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

McGregor, John C.

1941      Winona and Ridge Ruin, Part I: Architecture and Material Culture. Bulletin 18, Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff.

National Park Service

1991      How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. National Register Bulletin 15.

1997      Cultural Resource Management Guideline. NPS-28. Electronic document,, accessed August 27, 2015. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.