A Nonprofit Research and Education Organization

2017 Fieldwork Opportunities

PCRG currently is planning six field projects this summer.

There is no charge for participation and PCRG will provide all meals. If you would like to join us for one or more projects, please send an e-mail indicating your interest to Mark Mitchell at Mark.Mitchell@Paleocultural.org, or call the lab at (303) 439-4098.

Click here for general information about PCRG projects.

Miranda Valley Survey on the Carson National Forest, Taos, New Mexico

This project is full. You can add your name to the waitlist by clicking here: Miranda Valley Waitlist

May 25—June 2

PCRG will begin the season in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, south of Taos, New Mexico. Miranda Valley was the location of one of the most important Spanish roads from Santa Fe to Taos and the primary goal of our project will be to document traces of historic roads. We will also conduct a metal-detector survey at the possible location of a camp used by Don Diego de Vargas in the 1690s. We may also encounter lithic scatters, raw material quarries, ancestral Puebloan sites, and other resources. The crew will camp adjacent to Pot Creek Pueblo on the beautiful Fort Burgwin Research Center operated by Southern Methodist University.

Click here for detailed project logistics.

Magic Mountain Site Excavation, Golden, Colorado

This project is full. You can add your name to the waitlist by clicking here: Magic Mountain Waitlist

Two Sessions: June 7—June 16 and June 19—June 25

In June, PCRG and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) will jointly carry out a testing project at the Magic Mountain site, one of the most important archaeological sites on Colorado’s Front Range. Although excavations occurred there in the 1950s and 1990s, until recently much of the site was privately owned. In 2016, PCRG and DMNS conducted geophysical surveys on a previously unstudied portion of the site. That work revealed a variety of subsurface anomalies that may represent basin houses and other cultural features. The primary goal of the 2017 project will be to investigate those anomalies and their geoarchaeological context. Owing to the site’s proximity to the Denver area, PCRG will not establish a field camp for the project.

Click here for detailed project logistics.

Rio Grande Natural Area and Punche Valley Survey, Testing, and Rock Art Recording, San Luis Valley, Colorado

This project is full. You can add your name to the waitlist by clicking here: Rio Grande Natural Area Waitlist

Two Sessions: July 7—July 15 and July 19—July 27

In July, PCRG will study a wide variety of sites located in and adjacent to the little-known Rio Grande Natural Area, a rugged and remote 33-mile stretch of the river immediately north of the New Mexico state line. The project will integrate pedestrian inventory with evaluative testing and rock art documentation. Volunteers will have an opportunity to participate in all phases of the work.

Focused rock art documentation will occur during two sub-sessions. The first will begin on Monday, July 10 and will continue through Friday, July 14. The second will begin on Saturday, July 22 and run through Tuesday, July 25. Rock art recording volunteers are asked to contribute at least three days to the project.

The project field camp will be located at the Forest Service’s Mogote Campground—Juniper Group Camp. The campground is approximately 14 miles west of Antonito, Colorado, on Highway 17, the Cumbres Pass Road.

The project is the first under a new partnership between PCRG and History Colorado’s Program for Avocational Archaeological Certification (PAAC). Major funding for the project comes from the Bureau of Land Management and the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area.

Click here for detailed project logistics.

Molander State Historic Site Geophysical Survey, Price, North Dakota

July 30—August 4

In early August, PCRG will work with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the Northern Plains Heritage Foundation to conduct a geophysical survey and systematic coring project at Molander State Historic Site, located on the west bank of the Missouri north of Price, North Dakota. Only very limited work has been carried out at the site, which was an Awaxawi Hidatsa community occupied in the late 1700s. This summer’s project will better define the settlement's extent and overall layout. Additional details on the project will be posted here in late April or early May.

Old Spanish National Historic Trail West Branch Survey, San Luis Valley, Colorado

August 17—23

PCRG will return to the San Luis Valley in August to identify and document traces of the Old Spanish Trail in Saguache, Rio Grande, and Conejos counties. The inventory will target selected Bureau of Land Management parcels, based on prior informal surveys, descriptions from E.F. Beale’s 1853 expedition through the area, and an examination of Google Earth imagery. The crew will survey between 1 and 1.5 miles of possible trail route per day. Participants will camp on a private ranch on the Rio Grande about three miles east of Del Norte.

Click here for detailed project logistics.

Farista Site Archaeological Assessment, Gardner, Colorado

September 8—12

PCRG will close out the field season in early September with a testing project at an intriguing site on the Huerfano River near Gardner, Colorado. The site, which is privately owned, has produced a wide variety of pottery types, including specimens that have been identified as Abiquiu Black-on-White, an early Pueblo IV type. PCRG will salvage several eroding hearths and investigate associated occupation surfaces at the site. The crew will camp on the landowner’s property adjacent to the site—and be treated to a pork, green chile, onion, and potato specialty made in a hand-built horno.

Click here for detailed project logistics.