Hell Gap Site, National Historic Landmark, Excavation

This listing expired on June 15, 2020. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Guernsey, WY, USA

Season: June 19, 2020 to July 27, 2020

Session Dates: June 20-29, July 4-13, July 18-27

Application Deadline: March 15, 2020

Deadline Type: Contact for Details


Program Type:
Field School, Volunteer

RPA Certified:

University of Wyoming

Project Director:
Drs. Marcel Kornfeld and Mary Lou Larson

Project Description:

Hell Gap project seeks to recover evidence of camp life, subsistence strategies, and mobility patters of some of the earliest North American peoples (~12,000-8000 years ago). Excavations have been continuous since 1993 in the area around the ‘witness block’ lefty intact by excavations 30 years prior by the initial investigators (George Agogino, J.O. Brew, Cynthia Irwin-Williams, and Henry Irwin). Development of excavation and laboratory techniques and a myriad of associated studies (for example OSL dating) since the initial investigations are providing a much more realistic and nuanced picture of the earliest North Americans, the Paleoindians.

Period(s) of Occupation: Hess Gap site is one of the most completely stratified Paleoindian localities of North America. Nine Paleoindian cultural complexes are represented in the sequence at Locality I, from oldest to youngest these are: Goshen (~11,000 radiocarbon years ago), Folsom, Midland, Agate Basin, Hell Gap, Alberta, Eden/Scottsbluff, Frederick, and Lusk (~7800 radiocarbon years ago). Post-Paleoindian occupations are also well represented in the Hell Gap valley, from Early Plains Archaic through Late Prehistoric periods.

University of Wyoming Advanced Archaeological Field School (Anth 5180; as well as volunteer opportunities are offered (

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Volunteers 5 days; field school 30 days (all three sessions)

Minimum Age: Variable

Experience Required: Some field experience preferred

Room and Board Arrangements:
Food (cooked by the crew on rotating basis) and camping space is provided, running water, solar shower enclosure (bring your own shower bag)

Academic Credit:
6 credit hours throgh UW for Anth 5180

Contact Information:

Drs. Marcel Kornfeld or Mary Lou Larson

Department 3431, 1000 East University Avenue





Phone: (307) 766-5136

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