Students and Faculty Explore Archaeology of the Northern Southwest

Posted on 6/18/2009 3:45:36 PM

From May 4 to 25, 2009, Drs. Phil and Sarah Neusius of the Department of Anthropology led ten students on an Anthropological Study Odyssey course that included visiting Anasazi and Sinagua sites while camping in the northern Southwest.

Places visited included Bandelier National Monument, Chaco Canyon National Historical Park, and Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico; Walnut Canyon National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, and Navajo National Monument in Arizona; the Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Anasazi Heritage Center, and Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado; Hovenweep National Monument in Utah; and other sites.

Students who took this course were Casey Felix, Jordan Galantine, MaryBeth Homa, Brooke Knisely, Chelsea McDonnell, Kerianne Mahoney, Andy Phillips, Emily Poeppel, Sarah Williams, and Nathan Winters. Besides long days full of guided tours, drives over washboard roads, and hikes into cliff dwellings, each student passed a general knowledge test before leaving IUP, researched and gave two presentations about the archaeology they were encountering, and kept a journal in which they reacted to the experience and specific questions from their instructors.

Rangers and professional archaeologists at the various places visited added immensely to what we learned.

Students also participated in cooking and other camp maintenance tasks except during the group’s time at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Colorado. Despite the intense schedule, both faculty and students returned with a new appreciation for the past people of the northern Southwest. We also came away with many never-to-be-forgotten memories of the environment and people we encountered.