Totah Archaeological Project Field School

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

This listing expired on July 16, 2021. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Unnamed Road, Farmington, NM 87401, USA

Season: June 21, 2021 to July 16, 2021

Session Dates: We intend to hold the 2021 session from June 21st to July 16th.

Application Deadline: July 2, 2021

Deadline Type: Contact for Details


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

San Juan College 4601 College Blvd. Farmington, NM 87402

Project Director:
Linda Wheelbarger

Project Description:

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 8-12 inches of precipitation 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.  This year we will be continuing to work at Point Pueblo, a large Chacoan greathouse community. In particular, we will be working predominantly in the great house area with some tasks  to be completed in the great kiva and elsewhere on the site.

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.

Although previously limited to 15 students because of COVID-19, the state of New Mexico and our county, San Juan County, are doing very well. And thus as of May 21st, 2021, we have just been given permission to accept up to 20 students for the 2021 field school session. As of now and it is not expected to change, students do not have to be vaccinated or have a test for COVID-19. At this point in time, you will have to sign in each day and get a temperature check. Social distancing will be practiced and a mask must be worn when appropriate such as on-campus, in our class/lab room setting and when traveling with more than one person in a vehicle. Also, we do have windows in the lab/classrooms and we will keep them open when possible for additional ventilation. When outside excavating, surveying, or eating lunch, you will not need to wear the mask. San Juan College is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free of discrimination. In support, the Totah Archaeological Project Field School prohibits discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, based on a protected classification, including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. The Totah Archaeological Project Field School encourages anyone who believes they have been the subject of discrimination to report the matter immediately as described on the college’s web page: All members of the Field School are responsible for helping to create a project environment free from all forms of prohibited discrimination and for cooperating with San Juan College Title IX officials who investigate allegations of policy violations. We will discuss the policy with students and require students to read the sexual harassment policy and sign off on it, having them keep a copy with the pertinent information for contacting SJC Title IX personnel. ANTH 2120 field school students grades are dependent on field school participation, submission of an excavation summary report on a portion of the summer’s excavation, and a final exam to be given on the last day of class. ANTH 2998 intern students grades are dependent on field school participation and submission of an excavation summary report on a portion of the summer's excavation, but are not required to take the final exam. Report examples will be submitted to students prior to the end of the field school but they will need to wait for summary materials from the 2021 session. Those materials will be prepared during the two-week lab session following the four-week field session and emailed to students between July 26th and 28th. Students will have until Friday August 13th, 2021, to compile the 10-page report and email it to Wheelbarger. ( One lab class is scheduled each week except for the first week. In the labs, artifacts will be washed, bagged with provenience, and data entered into spreadsheets. In general, we will be excavating 3 or 4 days a week. Although the majority of the course is focused on excavation, I do include at least one day of archaeological survey on the Ranch. We will survey for a site, pinflag it out, and record it using both GPS and compass and tape. I feel this is very important because so many archaeological jobs involve survey. People interested in attending the field school as a volunteer may sign up and pay for the ANTH 2998 Internship as Auditing the course, and thus can attend any part of the session but are not responsible for course requirements. Those who have previously taken and paid for the field school or internship, are permitted to volunteer with no fees required. The first day of field school we will meet at San Juan College at 9am at my lab upstairs of the San Juan College building at 800 SOUTH Hutton. After introductions, an overview of the Totah Archaeological Project will be presented along with a review of fundamental concepts of archaeology and common archaeological terms, information on our local environment, an overview of Four Corners prehistory, an introduction to artifacts and features we expect to find, and general gridding and excavation procedures. We will eat lunch at our campus’s Mary’s Kitchen and take a quick tour of the campus at that time. If you need to save money, you are welcome to bring your lunch instead of buying food. We will caravan out to the B-Square Ranch on the second day of class to tour the Ranch viewing a number of archaeological sites including several rock art panels. Excavation will begin at Point Pueblo on the third day of class. If you are interested in the 2021 San Juan College Totah Archaeological Project Field School, please contact Linda Wheelbarger at for additional information.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Two Weeks for Internship, 4 weeks for Field School, no minimum for qualified volunteers

Minimum Age: 16 with qualifications

Experience Required: No experience 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 only. This year total ANTH 2120 Field School students and ANTH 2998 Internship students are limited to 20 individuals because of COVID-19 restrictions. Those who express interest after the limit of 20 has been reached will be notified they can be put on a Waiting List and what placement they will have on that Waiting List. They will be immediately notified when and if that placement changes. The 4-week Archaeological Field Methods class, ANTH 2120, is 6 hours of undergraduate-level Humanities credit. The ANTH 2998 internships require only two weeks of attendance during the four week period. 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 = $329.00 and 6 credit class = $688.00 Non-New Mexico Residents: 3 credit class = $707.00 and 6 credit class = $1,444.00 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 all four weeks

Contact Information:

Linda Wheelbarger

PO Box 275




United States

Phone: (505) 320-1834

Fax: N/A

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