Totah Archaeological Project Field School

This listing expired on July 9, 2022. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Unnamed Road, Farmington, NM 87401, USA

Season: May 23, 2022 to July 8, 2022

Session Dates: The session will run from May 23, 2022, through July 8, 2022, for a total of seven weeks. The first five weeks of the session will consist of excavation with a few days of lab and survey scheduled. The last two weeks will consist of lab with at least one day of excavation at the site and some possible survey.

Application Deadline: June 24, 2022

Deadline Type: Contact for Details


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

San Juan College 4601 College Blvd. Farmington, New Mexico 87402

Project Director:
Professors Linda Wheelbarger and Dr. Nicholas Jew

Project Description:

Location:  The field school is conducted on the B-Square Ranch, a combination working cattle ranch, waterfowl conservation area, and museum facility. The project area is in a gorgeous location at the base of the Shannon Bluffs and adjacent to the San Juan River, overlooking the city of Farmington lying immediately to the north. We are in high desert Colorado Plateau terrain and normally receive only 8 inches of rain a year. Our area is called “Totah” by the local Navajos meaning “land amidst water” because of the three rivers which junction within the Farmington area.

2022 Proposed Work: This year we will be continuing to work at the Point Great House, a large Chacoan Great House community. We may be working in several areas of the site including the great house, the great kiva, the plaza kiva, the two small-house Mesa Verde units and the Basketmaker III/Pueblo I pitstructure.

Period(s) of Occupation: Ceramic analysis has revealed evidence of a Basketmaker III 500-700 CE occupation, a Pueblo I 700-900 CE occupation, a Pueblo II 900-1150 occupation and a Pueblo III 1150-1300 CE occupation. These are the classic Ancestral Puebloan occupation periods of the Four Corners area of the Southwest.

Please open the attached PDF Flyer for detailed information on the project and registering. We are accepting a total of 20 students for the 2022 field school and internship classes. Students may attend any portion of the seven weeks for their required ANTH 2120 or ANTH 2998 attendance. Those attending any portion of the first five weeks will learn normal excavation techniques using trowels and picks and screening of excavated deposits for artifacts as well as laboratory techniques for dealing with all project information including collected artifacts and samples. Excavation is conducted by levels within 2 x 2m units or units determined by the portion of a room/structure. Artifacts are point-provenienced when working on a floor, surface, or in a profile. Documentation includes excavation and feature forms, production of plan view and profile maps, and photographs. After an initial class day and Ranch Tour Day, excavation will begin at the Point Great House Community on May 25, 2022. In general, during the first five weeks of class, we will be excavating 3 or 4 days a week with labs or tours on other days or on optional weekend tours. On lab days, artifacts will be washed and placed in curation bags with provenience, and data will be entered into spreadsheets. Students attending the final two weeks of the session will be working predominantly in the lab with only one day of excavation and some survey. Lab work at that time will include any additional lab work not completed during excavation as well as creation of artifact and sample tables, photographs of artifacts and samples, drafting of plan and profiles, and compilation of report text from excavation and feature forms.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 10 days for Internship, 20 days for Field School, 30 days for both classes, and once students have put in the required number of days they may stay for any additional time.

Minimum Age: 16 with qualifications

Experience Required: No experience required and no formal admission procedures required.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Room and board are the responsibility of the student, however, for many previous years I arranged for non-local students to stay at the Economy Inn in downtown Farmington where special rates are given to the students. The Economy Inn is not a fancy motel! It is however, affordable for students and is particularly convenient for students who will not have their own vehicle. It's location is in our small downtown within walking distance to restaurants and stores. Also, it is on my way to the Ranch so it is easy for picking up and dropping off students. When 2 students share a room with two beds, each will pay $125 per week. If 2 or 3 students share the large 4 bed room, they each pay $125, however if there are 4 students sharing that room the cost is reduced to $94.00 per week. The 4-person room has a full kitchen with full size refrigerator and stove, although the stove does not have an oven. There is a microwave and small refrigerator in all of the rooms. Of course, students who prefer are welcome to have a room by themselves at a higher cost. A single room rate for 1 person/1 bed is $240 per week or $250 for 2 people/2 beds. All costs shown here include taxes. Campgrounds or other motels are also available. Additional information on other options will be provided to students requesting additional information on the field school. Food costs are dependent on the student, but $100 per week is a good, although very minimal, estimate.

Academic Credit:
As San Juan College is a community college, all classes are undergraduate level credits only. The Archaeological Field Methods class, ANTH 2120, is 6 hours of credit while the ANTH 2998 internship is 3 credits hours. It is possible for students to register for both courses to earn a total of 9 credit hours. Total tuition costs for the summer field school/internship including credit hour fee, flat fee, activity fee, and Equipment and Supply fee are: New Mexico Residents: 3 credit class = $338.00 and 6 credit class = $706.00. Non-New Mexico Residents: 3 credit class = $734.00 and 6 credit class = $1,498.00. New Mexico Residents taking both classes for 9 credits = $966.50 Non-New Mexico Residents taking both classes for 9 credits = $2,094.50 For students taking the course for a grade, the following attendance is required: • 3 credit students are required to stay any two weeks or any 10 days • 6 credit students are required to stay any 20 days. • 9 credit students (taking both classes) are required to stay any 30 days.

Contact Information:

Linda Wheelbarger

PO Box 275




United States

Phone: (505) 320-1834

Fax: N/A

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