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Field School Adventures

NMSU archaeology students look at Gila National Forest site

field school
NMSU student exposes newly discovered room walls at Twin Pines Village. (Courtesy photo)

New Mexico State University undergraduate and graduate students participated in an archaeological field school on the Wilderness Ranger District of the Gila National Forest from May 21 through July 3. The 16 students, under the direction of NMSU Professor Dr. Fumi Arakawa, excavated the Twin Pines Village located south of Wall Lake. Twin Pines Village is an important Classic Mimbres Phase Site (A.D. 1000-1130) that has not been professionally excavated until this summer. Information regarding the types of architecture, artifacts and trade highlight the importance of this site on the Gila national Forest

“This is the first formal archaeological investigation at Twin Pines Village and we have gained a tremendous amount of information on the Mimbres people from this work,” Christopher Adams, district archaeologist said.

The students spent five nights a week camping at the Beaverhead Workstation. For some students this was the first time they camped for an extended period of time and for some their first experience getting to know the Gila National Forest. The students learned the basics of archaeological excavation, mapping, photography, cleaning and classifying artifact types. In addition to the archaeological work, several well-known Mimbres archaeologists visited and toured this site for the first time.


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