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NMSU students participate in Archaeological Field School

Students from New Mexico State University?s Department of Anthropology recently completed a six-week Archaeological Field School at Twin Pine Village in the Gila National Forest, N.M.


 Group picture of students outside at archaeological field site
The 2015 NMSU Archaeological Field School took place at Twin Pine Village in the Gila National Forest. For six weeks, 16 undergraduate and graduate students from NMSU?s Department of Anthropology participated in all phases of archaeological fieldwork, including site survey, excavation mapping and in-field analysis. (Courtesy photo)

?Archaeological Field School is an important rite of passage and a key professional qualification for all aspiring archaeologists,? said Rani Alexander, department head for NMSU?s Department of Anthropology.

Under the direction of experienced professionals, 16 undergraduate and graduate students spent five nights a week camping at Beaverhead Workstation in Gila, N.M., between May 21 and July 3. During this time, the students participated in all phases of archaeological fieldwork, including site survey, excavation mapping and in-field analysis.

?At Twin Pines Village, students learn much more than how to excavate a site and properly record and analyze prehistoric artifacts,? Alexander said. ?They learn about stewardship of archaeological resources, cultural heritage management and best practices for collaborative archaeological investigation.?

Fumi Arakawa, director of the University Museum at NMSU and assistant professor of anthropology within NMSU?s College of Arts and Sciences, directed this year?s field school. The school operated in collaboration with U.S. Forest Service archaeologists Wendy Sutton and Chris Adams.

NMSU Archaeological Field School is conducted each summer at different locations throughout the southwest. Upon completion of this school, students may earn six hours of academic credit that contribute toward degree requirements.