The Kansas Archaeological Field School is held in even-numbered years. The next session of the KAFS will be held in 2014.
Please check back with us during the Fall 2013 term for updates!
Kansas Archaeological Field School 2012 Field and Laboratory Techniques in Archaeology
Dates: June 4-June 29 (excluding weekends)
Instructor: Dr. Brad Logan
The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Kansas State University invites students to participate in the Kansas Archaeological Field School. The program will focus on Quarry Creek, a major site of the Kansas City Hopewell culture that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places property and located on the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas military reservation. The coeducational field school provides students with basic and advanced training in archaeological excavation and in basic laboratory techniques as time permits. Students participate in a problem-oriented research project designed to provide significant information on the archaeology of the Central Plains. During the field school, students devote full time on weekdays to field school activities; all enrollees must participate for the duration of the field school. No prior archaeological experience is necessary.
The site is named for the small tributary of the Missouri River on which it is located. Its strategic placement allowed exploitation of varied resources from woodland, prairie, and riverine habitats from a permanent base camp ca. AD 250-400. Though it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, no excavations were done there until 1991 when the KAFS exposed 33m2 of its estimated 8,400m2 extent. Test units and a 15m long trench were dug, the latter through a midden mound, to determine the depth and area of cultural deposits. Remote sensing (magnetometry) survey identified several anomalies indicative of hearths and pit features. Subsequent excavation revealed six trash filled storage pits. The KAFS returned to Quarry Creek in 2010 and excavated an additional 15m2, revealing two more pits and an extensive concentration of burned limestone. These features and the middens above them have yielded a wealth of cultural material, including pottery, chipped stone tools (dart points, knives, scrapers, drills, and blades), ground stone tools (manos, nutting stones, hammer stones and celts), bone tools (antler billets and pressure flakers, awls, points, and punches), a miniature copper celt and ceramic pipe fragments. Analyses of the artifact assemblage, radiocarbon dates, and other information have shed new light on Kansas City Hopewell and its relations with other variants of the Hopewell culture in the Midwest.
|Left) Corner-notched projectile points and; right) pottery from the Quarry Creek site.|
|Left, above) small ceramic bowl; left, below) miniature copper celt; center, top to bottom) bobcat maxilla and mink mandible, deer antler flintknapping tools, deer ulna punch; right) turkey metatarsal awls, distal scored-and-snapped piece, and blade of central Missouri chert.|
Participants in the KAFS-2012 will receive instruction in a variety of archaeological and ancillary field techniques, including:
- Test excavation (including unit placement, set-up, screening, and documentation such as profiling, unit/level form completion, plan mapping, photography, etc.)
- Use of an Electronic Distance Measure (EDM; or “total station”) for site mapping
- Use of a Global Positioning Receiver (GPR)
- Completion of site registration forms
- Interpretation of U.S.G.S. topographic quadrangle maps
- Demonstration of geoarchaeological techniques, such as extraction of soil cores, magnetic sampling, and interpretation of the soil/sediment context of the site
- Preliminary laboratory processing of recovered cultural material, including artifact typology, functional analysis, faunal identification, etc.
- Tour of the Fort Leavenworth reservation.
|Members of KAFS-1991 in "Pit City" at the Quarry Creek Site||KAFS-2010 students|
|“Pit City”, a concentration of four trash-filled storage pits found in 1991, before excavation (left) and after.|
Participants in the field school course will be housed in Richard W. Warren Middle School, Leavenworth a short distance from the site. This facility provides comfortable quarters for sleeping, dining, laboratory work, and lectures. A cook who has prior experience with the KAFS will prepare meals; students will be rotated through Kitchen Patrol (KP). Students are expected to share quarters and meals on weekdays during each week of the field school.
Students are responsible for transportation to and from the field school quarters each week. For those who do not have a vehicle for this purpose, other arrangements will be made.
Field School Costs
The tuition and fees for the field school are $925 for resident undergraduates, $2,454 for non-resident undergraduates, $1,240 for resident graduates, and $2,800 for non-resident graduates. There is also a fee of $400 to cover room, board, and laboratory expenses.