2016 Arizona Field School

Upper Gila River, Duncan, Arizona
APPLY NOW! Click here to download the application

arizona image  Arizona dig image

June 5-July 1, 2016                                                                                                                                     Information Session: Thurs. March 24, 4-5pm in MH 4.02.40

* Archaeological excavation & survey
* Explore Southwestern archaeology
* Visit fascinating archaeological sites
* 6 credits (Anthropology 3406)

Details: (see Below for extensive details)

* Arrive Duncan, Arizona June 5– Depart July 1
* Students provide their own transportation to Duncan, AZ (736 miles)
* Field School fee $950.00 covers housing, food, and field transportation
* Excavations will focus on the hilltop site of Round Mountain (ca. 500 B.C.)
Learn about Round Mountain
* Archaeological survey in the Gila River Valley-our 2015 Field School discovered 15 new sites!
* Enrollment limited to 15

arizona map

Information sessions:
* Thur. March 24, 4-5pm, MH 4.02.40
Contact: robert.hard@utsa.edu

Information for 2016 Southwestern Archaeological Field School (Dr. Robert J. Hard)
(many items below are borrowed from Drs. Yaeger and Brown’s Belize Study Abroad Handbook)

Gear: The program will supply all of the archaeological gear and equipment you will need, but you should bring:

  • Small backpack or day pack.
  • Canteen or water bottle. A wide-mouth bottle is easiest for mixing Gatorade and for washing, but anything will do. Plan on carrying 4 quarts of water per day.
  • Work gloves (optional). You’ll be shoveling and picking and doing hard work. If your hands are soft, bring cotton or light canvas work gloves that dry quickly.
  • Sunscreen with a high SPF (at least 15!).
  • Insect repellent (optional)
    Poncho or other rain gear (optional).
  • Trowel (optional). A pointed, bricklayer-type trowel; most prefer the Marshalltown brand, and a 4½-inch or 5-inch is best.
  • Compass (optional). A plate compass like those made by Brunton, Silva, Suunto, etc.
  • Pocket knife (optional).
  • 3-meter tape measure (make sure it’s metric), a line level, and a plumb bob (optional).
  • Clipboard (optional)

Clothes: You should bring enough clothes for 5-7 days as outlined:

  • Field clothes: The key is balancing protection from sun and thorns, without overheating. Avoid dark colors, heavy fabrics, and polyester; think cotton and breathable fabrics. Lightweight but durable long pants or jeans are recommended. Light, long-sleeved shirts are best. T-shirts are cooler, but they do not protect you from the harsh sun. Shorts and T-shirts are great when you’re working in the lab or hanging around camp. Remember these are field clothes – they will get torn, stained, and very sweaty.
  • Weekend clothes for excursions: Shorts or long-pants, T-shirts. Please, no muscle shirts, short-shorts, or dirty or ragged clothes when in town or visiting sites.
  • Footwear: You will need a study pair of boots or walking shoes. Athletic shoes do not hold up well and do not protect your feet against the sharp rocks and spines of desert plants.
  • Hat (preferably one that covers your ears) and sunglasses
  • Sandals, or other tennis shoes for around camp.

Sleeping: Space in the Duncan Hotel is limited so everyone should bring:

  • a cot, inflatable mattress, or sleeping pad (single width)
  • bedding or sleeping bag.
  • There is space to camp in the back of the hotel if you are so inclined, in that case bring a small tent.
  • Towels and washcloths


Course Information

Students will spend 5-6 days per week engaging directly in archaeological research, including excavation and archaeological survey. Lab work will be conducted in the evenings. Students will rotate between the field site and the field laboratory, so that they get to experience all facets of archaeological fieldwork. Evening lectures, a field manual and selected readings on archaeological method and theory will provide background to students for their fieldwork, but most of the learning will be hands-on, experiential learning under the guidance of director and staff. The focus on archaeological fieldwork means that all participants will engaged in demanding physical activity outdoors in desert conditions (hot sun and high temperatures). All students must be prepared for daily rigorous physical activity outdoors in a hot, arid environment.

Students will also learn Southwestern archaeology through half-day and full-day field trips to other archaeological projects and sites in the region.

Upon successful completion of the program, undergraduate students earn 6 credits of ANT 3046 which count toward the UTSA Anthropology major. Successful completion by graduate students earns 6 credits of ANT 5556, which count as electives in the UTSA Anthropology PhD and MA programs.

There will also be opportunities to design independent research projects for students who wish to pursue a senior thesis or project in future seasons. There will be opportunities to conduct follow-up research projects during the fall and spring semesters.


Grades will be based on the following:

40%: participation in fieldwork, quality of note books, field forms, and field drawings
10%: participation in lab
25%: participation in lectures and field trips; teamwork
25%: final exam


The group will be staying at the Simpson Hotel in Duncan Arizona. Space is limited so everyone should bring cot/air mattress/pad (single width).

The group cannot easily accommodate visitors on the project.


We will eat a cold breakfast in the mornings and we pack simple bag lunches to be eaten in the field. We have hired an excellent cook and will have hot meals in the evenings. We will provide all food for regular meals. Meals at restaurants during field trips or other travel are at your own expense, this should only occur occasionally.

Accommodating special dietary needs and allergies can be difficult, you must discuss your situation ahead of time. It will be difficult to ask the cook to prepare separate foods for you, but we can attempt to have a number of items for you to choose from. The Program Director must be informed beforehand.


The program will have fully stocked first-aid kits, but it is a good idea to bring a personal supply of aspirin, allergy medicine, band aids, antibiotic cream, etc. If you are allergic to bee stings, foods, or plants, you should ask your doctor about an ‘epi-pen’ in case of an allergic reaction. If you wear glasses or contacts, it is wise to bring a spare pair.

You will be required to show proof of health insurance.


Expect hot and dry. Typically the rainy season doesn’t start until July. Expect daytime temperature over 100 with low humidity and hot direct sun.


You will need to drive yourself to Duncan Arizona by June 5. It is 736 miles so you will need to plan accordingly. I encourage you to be in contact with other team members to carpool. You will not need a car during your stay in Arizona. You may depart on the morning of July 1.