Cottonwood Towers Survey 2015 - Passport in Time

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Current Projects > 2015
Colorado - Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison NF
Closed!  Cottonwood Towers Archaeological Site Discovery

June 8-12, 2015

Must commit to enitre session

Come on back to the 'GMUG' National Forest this year for another "hike into the past!" Hundreds of years ago, prehistoric people built large stone structures overlooking a valley on the western slope of the Uncompahgre Plateau, which is situated at the confluence of three major archeological regions, The Southwest, Great Basin, and Intermountain.

Currently, we do not know who built these stone structures, when they were built, or what function(s) they may have served. During this PIT project, we intend to explore these structures, their immediate surrounds, and the overall cultural landscape to see what we can discover about them and what answers to this ancient puzzle may lay hidden in plain sight. The area has been surveyed previously, but more than 15 sites need to be re-evaluated and re-recorded with modern techniques, and with up-to-date site forms, maps, and site-recording equipment. This week-long project will, therefore, involve recording prehistoric structures, site discovery and re-recording known sites, sketch mapping, and surveying for prehistoric artifacts and structures.

The project area is located in a warm PiƱon and Juniper forest on the west side of the Uncompahgre Plateau - a beautiful area to view and in which to work. Also, although this is a remote area, it is a great launching point for many adventures in and around some of Colorado's most famous historic sites, and even going "the extra mile" across the border into Utah! Explore the town of Ouray, known for its historic mining; see the beauty of Telluride, and visit the archeological wonders of Mesa Verde and Canyons of the Ancients; there is also Hovenweep, Newspaper Rock, Canyonlands, Arches, and, for the most adventurous, a final stop in Moab for a gastronomically satisfying visit to some fine restaurants and brewpubs!

So, come for the project, stay for the scenery and adventure - see you in June!

Number of openings: 6

Special skills: Must be physically capable of hiking several miles each day (with daypack) over often difficult terrain and in variable weather conditions; previous archaeological survey, site recording, mapping, and/or artifact identification experience in the Southwest or Great Basin preferred, but not required

Minimum age: 12 years old, under 18 with a responsible adult

Facilities: Tent camping available at no charge at (dry) BLM campsites within ~2 miles of the project site; pit toilets, no potable water; 2 additional (dry) BLM campsites nearby are RV-accessible (~5 miles from site); pit toilets, no potable water, no hook-ups; additional RV site at Cascade Flats (41 miles from site); pit toilets, no potable water, no hook-ups (but great views!); Norwood (~52 minutes from site area) is a limited-services community with a small grocery store, restaurants, and a small coffee shop; volunteers responsible for personal camping equipment, food, water, and daily transportation to designated meeting area; Note: last few miles of road to project area is rough; high-clearance vehicles a must, 4x4 vehicle highly recommended; project leader will have space for 4 passengers

Nearest towns: Nucla, 13 miles; Norwood, 26 miles

Applications due: May 4, 2015
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