Message #122:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Information on Archaeological Digs
Date: Mon, 29 Apr 96 13:31:00 MST
Encoding: 90 TEXT


Hello, I recently came across your email address, and decided to check if 
you might have any info on archaeological  and dig adventures, that I might 
join in for about a week's span of time.  If this info is not available from 
you, could you suggest other options
that I can take to research this (preferably--email). Much appreciated, 

From: To: Helene: There a number of different sources of the information which would interest you. In almost all cases, you'd be expected to commit to a given amount of time (say a week or two); you'd likely be asked to contribute some money to help defray costs of the work (i.e. pay a fee); you may be required to camp in the outback and have to supply your own camping equipment, food, etc. - although some digs may be relatively close to commercial lodging; you'd have to supply transportation to and from the site; there may be age requirements; and other requirements may apply. In return, the experience of discovery can be exhilirating; you'd learn a lot about the tools and techniques of archaeology on the job and in campside lectures & local field trips; and you'll no doubt form long-lasting friendships with nice folks with similar interests. Here are some places to look:
  • U.S.F.S. (Forest Service) PIT (Passport In Time) programs - their magazine-format booklet (PIT Traveler) is published a couple of times a year, vol.7 no.1 Summer-Fall 1996 is the current issue (32 pages). It lists volunteer opportunities throughout the country, organized by state. Many programs have April 1 and June 1 registration cutoff dates so you'd better act quickly if this route appeals to you. Write to PIT Clearinghouse P.O. Box 31315, Tucson AZ 85751-1315. The Clearinghouse is managed under contract to Statistical Research, Inc., a cultural resource management firm. Try calling (520) 722-2716 or (800) 281-9176 to expedite getting a copy.
  • EarthWatch - helps place volunteers in archaeological digs around the world. Contact EarthWatch, P.O. Box 403BR, Watertown MA 02272-9924.
  • State archaeological societies - most/many states have avocational archaeological societies which organize digs using volunteers. Michael ("Smoke") Pfeiffer maintains a list of such societies - try e-mailing him at /S=M.PFEIFFER/OU1=R08F10A@MHS-FSWA.ATTMAIL.COM (yes, it's a real address except for the "<" & ">"). Incidentally, the Archaeological Society of New Mexico ran such a summer "field school" for many years, but it was terminated about two years ago, coincidentally with the emergence of the Hanta Virus problem out here.
  • Crow Canyon Archaeological Center - is a permanently established research organization located in Cortez (S.W.) Colorado. They run a variety of programs for volunteers, usually during the summer. Contact them at 23390 County Road K, Cortez CO 81321; (303) 565-8975; e-mail:
  • Old Pueblo Archaeological Center - in Tucson, sponsors programs for the public. Contact Al Dart at P.O. Box 40577, Tucson AZ 85717-0577; (520) 798-1201.
  • AIA (Archaeological Institute of America) - publishes an annual "Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin" listing many projects across the country. It is available for about $15.00 from Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company; Order Department; 4050 Westmark Drive; Dubuque IA 52002; or, contact Susanna Burns, AIA Publications Manager (617) 353-9361. If you're near a University/College with an anthropology dept., try their library.
  • SWA (Southwestern Archaeology) Home Page on the WWW - if you have a web browser to use, try to find a host of information about southwestern archaeology. You'll also find a large number of links to other WWW sites of interest to southwestern archaeology there. You may even find Smoke Pfeiffer's list there. Alternately, e-mail the SWA's manager, Brian Kenny, at or to tap his knowledge about your interests. I'm sending Brian a copy of this message thinking he might want to post it for others to use. If you like, ask to join Brian's moderated e-mail service called SASIG (Southwestern Archaeology Special Interest Group) which'll get you a steady stream of S.W. archaeo-info without becoming bogged down in a ton of irrelevancies characteristic of Listserv's.
Finally, most of these references came out of the Albuquerque Archaeological Society Newsletter, which I edit. If you're generally interested in what's going on in southwestern archaeology, you might want to join/subscribe - it's $12/yr, published monthly, about 16-18 pages/issue. Any more comments or questions? Get in touch. Alan Shalette