The annual Carroll College summer archaeological field school will be offered June 10-19, 2013, for 4 credits, either Social Science or Natural Science core credits. During the course of the summer, students will be introduced to the basics of archaeological field methods and research design directed through fieldwork on the local archaeological record.
The field school research will be conducted within the Helena National Forest. The area is located in the northern Big Belt Mountains about 20 miles northeast of Helena. Students will be camping for 9 days and will be expected to participate in camp activities (cooking, camp upkeep, etc). Students should be prepared for full days of digging and/or hiking, sometimes in remote areas. In addition to excavation and survey techniques, students will also learn laboratory procedures, including cataloging artifacts and performing basic artifact analysis. Evenings will also include informal lectures and discussion on local prehistory, history, geomorphology and ecology.
Students must provide personal camping gear, including sleeping bag, tent, sturdy hiking boots, weather appropriate clothing, water bottle, backpack, sunscreen, insect repellant and a field notebook. A lab fee of $100.00 will cover the cost of food and field equipment.
The 2010, 2011, and 2012 Carroll College Archaeological Field Schools focused on the excavation of local rock shelters dating to over 6,000 years old. Our research centers on paleoenvironmental change and human adaptation. Our research has monitored climatic variability and documented the environmental responses, such as changes in vegetation communities, animal populations, forest fire frequencies, sedimentation rates, as well as prehistoric human adaptation to those changing conditions.
Download the Archaeological Field School syllabus, which contains the class description, objectives, grading and assessment.
By Pat Hansen for the MT Standard
Most people think of archaeology as the study of artifacts such as shards of pottery, tools, and arrowheads. However, an archaeological dig in 2011 at Beaver Creek Rock Shelter near Nelson, east of Helena, led Darla (Lease) Dexter to study pollen found at the site.
Dexter, a 1994 graduate of Powell County High School in Deer Lodge, became interested in archaeology while taking a Native American Studies class with Lauri Travis, at Carroll College in the fall of 2011.
Last May she joined archaeologist and anthropologist Travis and others for a two-week dig. The Beaver Creek Rock Shelter was used by Indian tribes for more than 2,000 years as a temporary shelter for two or three people at a time, so fire hearths, bones, shells and rock flakes chipped off during the shaping of arrowheads were found. Read more of this story