Field Methods in Archaeology

Location: Dixon, New Mexico

Dates: June 5 - July 3, 2018

Faculty Director: Severin Fowles, Anthropology Department

Program length: 4 weeks

Language of Instruction: English

Term: Summer

Pre-requisites: none

Credits: 3 + 1 lab; fulfills Lab Science requirement

Class standing: Rising Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors

Application Deadline: March 23, 2018

Enrollment: Limited to 10 students



Program Description:

“Field Methods in Archaeology” is a 4-week, intensive introduction to the key methods of archaeological fieldwork through participation in an ongoing research program in northern New Mexico.  Students live and work in an immersive research setting alongside professional archaeologists, gaining training in survey, excavation, and artifact analysis while also being introduced to larger questions of research design, archaeological interpretation, and the ethical and political complexities of fieldwork.  Students are housed in an adobe residence in the center of the beautiful and historic community of Dixon, just one mile from the Rio Grande with a view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and will have daily access to a General Store, Library, Post Office, and Cafe. Fieldwork and field trips during the course provide an opportunity to explore many historically significant sites throughout northern New Mexico.  Please also consult the Anthropology Department's Archaeological Field School website for more information.


The 2018 summer field season advances the project’s investigation of 17th, 18th, and 19th century village life among both indigenous and settler colonial communities on the northern frontier of the Spanish empire. Fieldwork will convene in two neighboring areas. The first is the historic plaza of what is today the village of Dixon, NM. While Dixon was officially established as a center of a Spanish land grant in 1725, past research has documented the presence of well-stratified midden (trash) deposits adjacent to the plaza that extend back to the late 17th century. Our goal will be to conduct excavations within this midden area to recover evidence of shifting patterns of Hispano food consumption, craft production, trade, and landscape use during the early colonial period. The second research area is the contemporary tribal reservation of Picuris Pueblo, whose ancestors have been living at the same site for over a millennium. Through a formal collaboration between the Picuris Nation, Barnard College, Southern Methodist University and the University of Arizona, we have been granted permission to undertake pedestrian survey, geophysical survey, and limited subsurface testing on tribal lands to document the extensive system of agricultural fields surrounding the pueblo as well as the many historic camps on the community’s periphery, the latter of which include traces of former visits by Jicarilla Apache traders. These archaeological features are key to understanding the nature and extent of the local economy at Picuris during the colonial era. Comparisons between the remains at Picuris and those at nearby Dixon will permit us to assess the wider nature of inter-community relationships as the residents of colonial New Mexico developed economies around newly introduced domesticates (particularly sheep, goat, cattle, horses, wheat and fruit trees), newly expanded trade networks, and newly transformed landscapes.

2018 Syllabus (subject to change)

Fulfillment of Requirement:

This course fulfills the 'Science with Laboratory' distributional requirement in the Barnard Foundations curriculum.

Application Procedures:

To apply, submit the program application by Friday, March 23, 2018. The application may be emailed to, faxed to 212-280-8797, or hand delivered to the Provost’s Office, located in 110 Milbank Hall.

A complete application includes the following:

  • Academic Transcripts. You may submit an unofficial transcript with your application. If admitted, Columbia and visiting students must submit an official transcript. Transcripts may be sent electronically to Barnard College, Provost’s Office, attn. Giorgio DiMauro, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY  10027;
  • Academic Reference (for Archaeology program only). Please provide the name and contact information for one academic reference.

Students will be notified of the results of their application within two-three weeks of the deadline, and will be required to pay a tuition deposit at that time to hold their place in the program.

Application Timeline:

February 26                                                           Program Information becomes available

by March 1                                                            Application available

Rolling until April 15                                               Application deadline
April 25 or within 2 weeks of acceptance              Confirmation of enrollment due

May 7                                                                    Tuition due



General eligibility requirements for The Barnard Summer Study programs are outlined below:

  • The summer study classes are open to all Barnard and Columbia students. If a student is applying from another U.S. accredited college or university, please be aware that we are a women's college and will consider for enrollment in these courses applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth.  
  • Individuals who have completed at least one year of college but who are not currently enrolled in school are not eligible to apply. 
  • The completion of at least two full-time semesters of college is required and intending to return to home institution for at least one more full-time semester (students in their last semester of college are ineligible to apply)
  • Be at least 18 or older prior to beginning of summer term.
  • Be in good academic standing at your home institution.
  • An interest in the past and its remains in the present is the only prerequisite. No prior experience in archaeology or anthropology is necessary.

Application Review and Notification:

A review of a student’s academic records and personal statement is required to confirm admission to one of the Barnard Summer Study programs. Once an admission decision has been reached, the applicant will be notified of the decision by email, within 2-3 weeks of the stated application deadline. Only completed applications will be reviewed. If an application is missing a required component (i.e. transcript, personal statement) it will not be reviewed until the missing material is received.

Location, Accommodations and Meals:

The field program is based in the midst of the beautiful and historic community of Dixon in northern New Mexico, just one mile from the Rio Grande with a view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Students are housed in an adobe residence in the center of the village, where they will have daily access to a General Store, Library, Post Office, and Cafe. Fieldwork and field trips during the course provide an opportunity to explore many historically significant sites throughout northern New Mexico.


Financial Information:

PLEASE NOTE: Students will be responsible for their own airfare and ground transportation to/from program location. All students participating in the program are required to live in Barnard-provided housing.

  • Undergraduate Tuition                                $5,268 (3 credits plus 1 lab credit)
  • Housing and Meals                                     $960
  • Administrative fee for visiting students       $150

Financial Aid and Fellowships:                                              

Barnard offers a limited amount of need-based financial aid for the program, available to Barnard students only; see the application form for details. Students from other colleges should check with their home institutions about financial aid.


  • Barnard Archaeology Fellowship: provides between $1,000-$3,000 in course subsidies to between 3-5 members of the field program each year. Preference is given to Archaeology majors at Barnard and Columbia and to students with clear financial need. Contact Prof. Fowles for details.
  • Robert Stigler Fund for Archaeological Research: typically provides $500 to support first-time field experiences. Available to all undergraduate students at Barnard or Columbia. Contact Professor Fowles for details.
  • Barnard Anthropology Fieldwork Grant: provides a limited number of students with support for summer research projects (typically less than $2,000). Available to Barnard Anthropology majors. Contact Professor Fowles for details.
  • Ella Deloria Undergraduate Research Fellowship: provides a limited number of students with support for summer research projects (typically less than $2,500). Available to Columbia Anthropology majors. See
  • Tow Summer Research Fellowship: provides a limited number of students with support for senior thesis research projects (fellowships range from $1,000 to $4,000). This is a competitive fellowship available to all Barnard juniors engaged in senior thesis research. Interested students should contact the Dean Leong, the junior class dean, during the fall semester to express interest. Students interested in applying for any of these funding opportunities should contact Professor Fowles as soon as possible.

Confirmation of Enrollment-Reservation Deposit:

Admitted students who intend to enroll must confirm their intention to participate by submitting a non-refundable tuition deposit of $500. This fee must be paid by april 25th or within two weeks of acceptance notification and will count toward tuition payment. Enrollment is not guaranteed until this payment is received.


After students have been accepted to the program and paid the required tuition deposit, they are considered an enrolled participant in that program. By making such payment they are expressing their intention to participate in the program, and acknowledge that the deposit is non-refundable. Payment in full is due May 7th. If a student cancels participation between May 7th and May 15th, tuition and fees are refundable, minus the $500 deposit. After May 15th, tuition and fees are non-refundable.

Should a program cancellation become necessary prior to the start, for reasons such as safety or under-enrollment, Barnard will refund tuition to the participants. Unrecoverable program expenses (e.g., airline deposits, housing fees) cannot be refunded.

For unrecoverable expenses, you may wish to consider purchasing trip cancellation insurance that can be obtained through many travel agents or insurance companies. Policies vary on what triggers trip cancellation, so you should check with travel insurance providers for more details.

Transfer of Credits:

Students who are not enrolled at Barnard should consult their home college/university to find out if their school will accept the transfer credits. Barnard is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools but each institution may have specific policies dictating what classes are transferable from outside institutions. Please consult with the professor for individual course syllabi.

Students with Disabilities:

Students with disabilities who are requesting accommodations during a Barnard Summer Study Programs program must contact the Barnard Disability Services Office to discuss reasonable accommodations. Students are encouraged to contact the office prior to applying and should register with the office as soon as they receive notification of their acceptance to a program.

Health and Safety while Traveling:

It is essential that students have adequate medical insurance coverage to participate in one of our Summer Study Programs. If you have the Barnard student health insurance plan, it will cover you domestically on an out-of-network basis. If you have other insurance, make sure that it will cover you for routine and emergency care, mental health, pre-existing conditions. Be prepared to pay up-front for care and submit receipts for reimbursement.

Honor Code:

The Honor Code is a vital part of the Barnard community because it helps to shape the character of Barnard College. The “Honor System” refers to the combination of the Honor Code, the Honor Board, and the members of the entire Barnard community who together strive toward building a community of academic integrity. All students on one of Barnard’s summer study programs are expected to adhere to our honor code.

Contact Information:

If you have general questions about your application or procedures, email for assistance. Students may also reach out directly to Professor Severin Fowles at about Field Methods in Archaeology.