Cottonwood Spring Archaeological Project

Location: Las Cruces, NM, USA

Season: May 22, 2024 to July 1, 2024

Application Deadline: March 17, 2024

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

New Mexico State University

Project Director:
Dr. William Walker

Project Description:

This is an intensive six-week field-based course, for which you will earn six credit hours. This course introduces you to basic archaeological field methods through participation in a research-oriented excavation project on on the western flanks of the San Andres Mountains just north of Las Cruces, NM. As part of this project, you will gain experience with archaeological excavation, feature documentation and artifact analysis. Participants must be prepared for hot weather and rigorous outdoor activity including walking, climbing, carrying equipment, and digging.

Period(s) of Occupation: NMSU's 2024 Field School will return to Cottonwood Spring Pueblo (LA 175), which is associated primarily with the Jornada Mogollon archaeological culture. This 14th-century village dwarfs most other Jornada Mogollon sites dating to the same time (El Paso phase, A.D. 1300-1450). Students will also be introduced to Mimbres Mogollon sites in the area, and will participate in an extended field trip to visit Ancestral Pueblo sites at Chaco Canyon National Historic Park.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Six weeks (the full session)

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No prior experience is required. Previous classes in archaeology will be beneficial.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will live in town and commute to the site Monday through Thursday. We devote Fridays to guest lectures and cleaning, sorting, typing, and cataloguing artifacts in the lab on the New Mexico State University campus. This field school provides transportation to and from the site; however, we do not provide housing or meals. For non-local applicants, we may be able to assist students with finding housing on/near campus.

Academic Credit:
Students will earn 6 credits. Undergraduates without previous field experience should enroll in ANTH 388, while undergraduates who have previously completed some field training may enroll in ANTH 488 (the advanced course). Graduate students must enroll in ANTH 522 to earn graduate credit. Tuition rates vary depending on the semester, resident or non-resident status, and graduate or undergraduate status, and summer tuition rates are typically published in April of each year. Once the summer rates are published, you will be able to find them here: In addition to paying tuition for 6 credits, field school students will also be charged a $850 course fee to cover the cost of transportation and essential supplies.

Contact Information:

Dr. William Walker

Las Cruces

New Mexico



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