A Day in the Life of an Archaeological Field School (Grad) Student (06/15-18/15)-By Mary Whisenhunt

Working on the survey team has been amazing! The Duncan Valley is so rich in archaeology, yet so understudied. We first surveyed, identified diagnostic materials, and mapped a fascinating Post-Classic Mimbres site with 50-60 rooms that’s very near our primary archaeological field site near Duncan, Arizona. The ceramic sherds are lovely, and give us clues about the age of the site and its continuity of occupation. The only drawback was the snakes…including at least one rattlesnake. I had the bright idea of looking for artifacts under mesquite bushes and was a little too close for comfort to one. Note to self: avoid reaching under foliage after a good rain or on a cool morning. It will not end well.

John Roney explaining the ins and outs of using a GPS (From Left to Right: John Roney, Overton Lesley, Gabriella Zaragosa, and Megan Brown)

John Roney explaining the ins and outs of using a GPS (From Left to Right: John Roney, Overton Lesley, Gabriella Zaragosa, and Megan Brown)

A cute walking stick on Gabriella Zaragosa’s hat

A cute walking stick on Gabriella Zaragosa’s hat

Gabriella Zaragosa and Megan Brown about to set out to flag artifacts!

Gabriella Zaragosa and Megan Brown about to set out to flag artifacts!

The next day (6/18/15) we surveyed in the area adjacent to the Post-Classic site and found…drum roll…a pithouse grouping and lots of very early ceramic sherd!! It’s pretty clear from our work in the Duncan Valley that people have been living along this stretch of the Upper Gila for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It’s wonderful to get a sense of that continuity. Maybe an excavation here next year? But in the meantime, we’ll initiate a new survey tomorrow and hopefully discover another site!

A little friend the team met while surveying

A little friend the team met while surveying

Advertisements