Uncovering the Mysteries of Colorado’s Pueblo Communities

This listing expired on December 31, 2019. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Mancos, CO, US

Season: July 8, 2018 to September 28, 2019

Session Dates: Visit this page for dates:

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:

RPA Certified:

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez, Colorado

Project Director:
Susan Ryan, Director of Archaeology, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

Project Description:

Spectacular buildings known as great houses were constructed in Chaco Canyon in present-day northwest New Mexico between A.D. 800 and 1140. Collectively, these great houses were the densest concentration of the largest buildings found anywhere in the ancestral Pueblo world. The intricate Chaco regional system, a halo of Chaco influence spanning 250 miles in all directions, was likely based upon social power concentrated in the hands of the people who occupied the great houses in Chaco Canyon. Although the exact nature of this power is not well understood, it was most likely derived from control over material and ideological resources such as labor, farmland, water resources, material goods (including exotic goods), and ritual knowledge.

You’ll join a group of archaeologists at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, located in Cortez, Colorado, to take part in hands-on archaeological fieldwork by excavating great houses on a site located on nearby private land. When you’re not excavating, doing lab work, or learning about archaeology, you’ll enjoy the Four Corners region of the American Southwest. You’ll explore restaurants and museums as well as sites such as Hovenweep National Monument, the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, and Mesa Verde National Park.

Period(s) of Occupation: A.D. 800-1140

Field Research, citizen science, excavation, fieldwork, canyons, national park,

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 7 Days

Minimum Age: 15

Experience Required: None

Room and Board Arrangements:
You’ll get a taste of traditional Southwestern living while staying in Navajo-style hogans on the Crow Canyon campus. Each hogan has four single beds and one bunk bed, and between two and six participants will share it. Participants will be separated by gender unless a couple requests accommodations together (couples can stay in the same hogan if space permits). Single rooms can be accommodated only if the number of participants works out. Please request couple accommodations in advance, although they can’t be guaranteed. Bathrooms are located in the large “super hogan,” which is divided in half to create separate areas for men and women. The super hogan has three bathroom stalls with flush toilets and four shower stalls with hot water on each side. Please conserve water when possible. The hogans have reliable electricity. You’re welcome to bring cameras and other electronic equipment. You’ll have time in the evenings to get on computers, etc Cost: $1995-3375 (various dates and durations available). All Earthwatch expeditions are offered for a tax-deductible charitable contribution, which covers nearly all the costs of research as well as the volunteer's accommodations, food, local transportation, and emergency medical and evacuation insurance.

Contact Information:

Earthwatch Institute

114 Western Ave




United States

Phone: 1-800-776-0188

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