Anthropology Department

Grinnell College





Archaeology Abroad

Spring 2009

Archaeology Abroad Email Update No. 9

Archaeology Abroad Email Update No. 8
Archaeology Abroad Email Update No. 7
Archaeology Abroad Email Update No 6

Fieldwork Awards Notes for Applicants and Application Form 



Anthropological Field School in Malta
Summer School 2009 Brochure Summer School Flyer Scholarship Flyer

Grinnell's Summer Archaeological Field School

Research in Flagstaff Arizona

Our research focuses on understanding the organization of prehistoric communities and the human landscape. What was it like to live at New Caves Pueblo on the rugged volcanic slope of O'Neil Crater, and why did the Sinagua leave New Caves and the Flagstaff area?

Prof. Kathy Kamp and Prof. John Whittaker took a team of Grinnell students to Flagstaff, Arizona in the Summer of '06, to continue research on prehistoric Sinagua villages.

Members of the 2006 Grinnell College Archaeological Field School on top of O'Neil Crater, the acropolis of NewCaves Pueblo. Front: Claire Tindall '07; April-Kamp Whittaker (Survey Chief); Mari Guttman '09; Darcy Ward '09'Benji Cantor-Stone '07 Middle row: Deborah Kaiser '08; Heather Craig '09; Ryan Lyerla '08; Prof. Kathryn Kamp; Prof. John Whittaker Back row: Heather Anu Kramer '09; Jordan Lee '08; Meredith Leep '09; Andrew Polta '08;David Blum '06








Flagstaff slide presentation.


Since 1984 Grinnell has been conducting a summer archaeological field school directed by Kathy Kamp and John Whittaker. Groups of about ten students spend six weeks conducting surveys to discover and record archaeological sites and excavating at Northern Sinagua site. Click on photo to see larger image.

Members of the 1984 Grinnell Archaeological Field School posed next to the Lizard Man petroglyph for which Lizard Man Village is named. Front: Rob Brubaker, Steve Boyd, John Whittaker, June Krell, and Melinda Lopes. Back: Kevin Rhodes, Barbara Cardell, Steve Nash, Anneke Walker, Rexford Osae, and Kathy Kamp.

Members of the 1985 Grinnell Archaeological Field School standing in Rooms 5 and 6. Front: Hilary Thompson, Jackie Jendras, Neil Weintraub, Sandra Raimondo, Sara Bruins, and John Whittaker. Back: Lisa Piedescalsi, Lisa Piedescalsi, Elizabeth Apel, Gwen Johnson, Michael Williams, and Kathy Kamp.

Members of the 1986 Grinnell Archaeological Field School in Room 19. Front: Romy Coberly, Karen Brockman, and John Whittaker. Second Row: Sara Croft, Deanna Bickford, Mary Novotny, and John Campos. Third Row: Jonathon Till, Jennifer Wright, Kirsten Pogue, and Kathy Kamp. Back: Sara Bruins (student field assistant) and Heather Barthell.

Members of the 1988 Grinnell Archaeological Field School on the petroglyph rocks near the site. Front: John Whittaker, Dana Robson, Danja Foss, Colleen Mahar, Kathy Kamp, and Sara Deichman. Second Row: Suzanna Smith, Rebecca Matthews, Steven Hingtgen, and Paula Briggs. Back: Richard Wallace and Amy Naughton.

Members of the 1990 Grinnell Archaeological Field School sitting on the pile of rocks excavated from Room 1 of Fortress Hills Pueblo. Front: Jonathon Till (Crew Chief), Kevin Kromash, and Mark Pilder. Second Row: Mike Galaty, Megan Bryant, Tom Berger, Thomas Nelson, John Whittaker, and Kathy Kamp. Back: Elizabeth Nelson, Becky Wallace, Jim Harris, and Vicki Michner.

Members of the 1992 Grinnell Archaeological Field School at New Caves Pueblo. Front: Doug Cook, Kathy Kamp, John Whittaker, Jon Van Hoose, Jenny Moon, Laura Zahnow, and Nathan Lange. Back: Amy Johnston, a visitor from England, Katya Ricketts, and Jennifer Carlisle.

LAST DAY OF FIELD SCHOOL AFTER BACKFILL Matt Hedman, Dacey Waldron, John Cook, Alex Ravitz, Jules Graybill, Matt miller, Professor Kathy Kamp, Dan, Amy Bebeau, Janet Mathews, Grace Beuller, Joy Fishel, Leslie Morlock, and Professor John Whittaker

Map of the Southwest showing the Sinagua culture area.

The Northern Sinagua, ancestors of the modern Hopi, lived in the area around the modern town of Flagstaff, Arizona. They were prehistoric farmers who supplemented the corn, beans, and squash they grew with wild plants and animals such as rabbit and deer. Wupatki and Walnut Canyon are both Sinagua sites open to the public as National Monuments.

The main pueblo roomblock at the Sinagua site of Wupatki.


To date we have worked at three different Sinagua sites. Lizard Man Village is a small community occupied from about A.D. 1050 to 1250. The first occupants lived in pithouses, while later occupants used above-ground pueblo dwellings. A short popular book on Lizard Man Village is forthcoming from Waveland Press. Fortress Hills Pueblo is a five room pueblo occupied in the primarily in the 1200s, but with two earlier pithouses. New Caves Pueblo, which we are currently excavating, is one of the largest and latest sites in the Flagstaff area. It was abandoned in the 1300s in favor of settlements to the east.

Map showing the location of Lizard Man Village, Fortress Hills Pueblo, New Caves Pueblo and some other Northern Sinagua sites.

Field trip to Boynton Canyon in Sedona, AZ, where Prof. Whittaker and Neil Weintraub ('86), an archaeologist with Kaibab National Forest, have been recording cliff dwellings.

Diagram of a pithouse (illustration by Amy Henderson).

Joy Fishel and Grace Beeler excavate at New Caves Pueblo.

A typical field school day entails rising shortly after dawn, so that we can start work a 7 a.m. On the site we carefully remove the dirt from artifacts, screen all the fill to discover small artifacts, and plot the exact locations of architecture and artifacts. Recently we replaced our transit with an electronic distance meter. This piece of surveying equipment allows us to record locational information and transfer it directly to a computer, so that it can be viewed and analyzed immediately. We work all day, taking only a couple of short breaks for snacks and "lunch", then return to the field camp to "wash the artifacts" and ourselves, catch up on the necessary book work and analysis, make dinner, perhaps have a lecture, and fall exhausted into bed. On the weekends field trips allow us to visit local sites.

Lisa Piedescalzi uncovers a pot.

Mary Novotny screens.

Kevin Rhodes and Barb Cardell measure in the position of an artifact.

Neil Weintraub and Kathy Kamp use a transit to survey the site of Lizard Man Village.

Amy Bebeau ('95) learns how to use the Electronic Distance Meter from Professor Kamp. The "EDM" is used to plot various points of the room by computer in order to get a more accurate picture of what the room really looks like and the positions of the artifacts within the room.

Amy Johnston wins the dirty face award.

Leslie Morlock ('95), Janet Mathews ('95), and Matt Miller ('95) measure beads found in Room 18. A 2-3 year old child was buried with a small pot, turquoise ear-bobs and a necklace, bracelet, and anklet of shell and turquoise beads. The burial and artifacts were examined and left in place.

Joy Fishel ('96) and John Cook ('94) set up tents. Students were allowed to bring their own tents, or 6-man tents lent to each pair of students.

A field trip to Sycamore Canyon. Climbing up to "Precipice House."


Summer Archaeological Fieldschool


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This page last modified December 16, 2009
by Sondi Burnell