Tongue River 2015 - Passport in Time

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Wyoming - BLM Buffalo Field Office
Closed!  Excavation and Interpretation on the Tongue River, Part I

June 15-19; 22-26, 2015

Must commit to one entire session; may participate in both

Come join BLM personnel for another site testing and recording project! This year, we'll be working along the Tongue River in the northeastern part of the state. In 2007, a Range Improvement Project involving the construction of a buried water pipeline in the Welch Ranch Recreation Area resulted in damage to a previously unidentified prehistoric cultural site. Our job will be to assess the site and the damage done, determine the site's boundaries, and recover what data we can. From there, we'll move on to formal, hands-on laboratory work and artifact and document curation.

The project will take place in two parts, wherein volunteers will be exposed to the full gamut of archaeological study! During Session 1, BLM Archaeologists and PIT Volunteers will define the site boundaries through shovel testing (which will help determine the contributing and/or non-contributing portions of the site), and document the damage caused by the buried water line. Volunteers will also excavate portions of the site using a combination of shovel tests and formal, 1x1-meter test units, to define the horizontal and vertical deposits, and to further document damage. PIT volunteers will be taught (or their skills honed in) proper archaeological excavation and site recording techniques, artifact identification, and the importance of cultural resources on public lands. If time allows, volunteers will also have the opportunity to survey and fully record other previously identified sites in the area. This segment of the project should take a full week.

During Session 2, we will move operations out of the field and back to Buffalo, where our lab work portion of the project will take place. PIT volunteers will be taught proper lab methods, and will have the opportunity to clean and identify artifacts and prepare them for curation at the University of Wyoming Archaeological Repository. Depending on the amount of cultural material excavated, the laboratory portion may take a couple of days or the entire week. But, whether you come for the full project or just one session, you will have the opportunity to see archaeology in action - stay for both, and you'll witness a project from field to laboratory to final curation and research! The project promises to be interesting as well as informative, so join us in June for some dusty and dirty fun!

Number of openings: 6 (4 for Session 1; 2 for Session 2)

Special skills: Must be physically capable of hiking moderate distances over often difficult terrain each day, and in a variety of weather conditions; previous GIS data collection (especially the use of Trimble XT and XM units), mapping and drawing, lithic material and tool identification, photography, and/or archaeological survey and excavation experience helpful, but not required

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

Facilities: Session 1: Tent camping at no charge at Welch Ranch Recreation Area (; chemical toilets, no potable water; camp area only accessible by high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicles; participants will carry own gear between camp and field each day; Sheridan is a full-service community with hotels/motels, restaurants, and a variety of other amenities (; volunteers responsible for personal camping equipment, food, water, and daily transportation to designated meeting area

Session 2: We will be based at the BLM Buffalo Field Office; Buffalo is a full-service community with hotels/motels,restaurants, and a full range of other amenities (; volunteers responsible for own lodging, food, and daily transportation to designated meeting area

Nearest towns: Session 1: Sheridan, 12 miles; Ranchester, 14 miles; Buffalo, 45 miles; Session 2: Project based in Buffalo

Applications due: May 11, 2015
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