Midwest Archaeological Field School

During the summer of 2014 the JCCC Midwest Archaeological Field School will be conducting investigations at the Smith’s Fork Site, near Smithville, MO. Previous research at this site and surrounding areas have identified a significant Native American occupation dating to the first half of the Second Millennium (AD 950-1450). Archaeologists refer to this particular pattern as the Steed-Kisker Cultural phase and it is one of several maize-farming groups in the greater Kansas City area. In addition to better defining the nature of occupation at the site, we are seeking to address some broader issues related to cultural identity, interregional interaction, and the consequences of adopting maize agriculture.

Field school students will be actively involved in the collection and documentation of archaeological resources through supervised excavation. This summer, our focus will be on a previously identified household. Determining the organization and contents of the house will allow us to better understand the variability of cultures in this area. Additionally, students will be involved in the investigation of a deeply buried anomaly identified during a survey utilizing ground-penetrating radar. Although we anticipate the anomaly to be related to the Steed-Kisker household, one never knows until the excavation is underway. Students will also be involved with the processing, analysis, and interpretation of all remains recovered through excavation.