University of Oregon Rimrock Draw Rockshelter Field School 2017


The 2017 University of Oregon Archaeological Field School at Rimrock Draw Rockshelter promises to be particularly engaging for our students. Multiple units will be excavated in the deepest portions of the site, beginning just above a layer of rockfall that has sealed late Pleistocene/early Holocene-aged deposits. We are seeking attentive, dedicated students particularly interested in the peopling of the Americas and early hunter-gatherers of North America. Dr. Patrick O’Grady will teach excavation methods, sampling techniques, site formation processes, and northern Great Basin prehistory. Dr. Thomas Stafford, Jr. will also instruct students in geoarchaeology during the first two weeks of the six week season. We ask that this announcement and the accompanying flyer be distributed among the students within your department for consideration.

Course Descriptions

-Credits: ANTH 408/508 – 8 credits

-Fees: $3650.00 – covers tuition, field transportation, and food. A payment program for the field school tuition is

possible (see website).

-Dates: June 26 through August 4, 2017.

-Skills to be learned: Paleoindian lithic reduction sequences; archaeological field methods such as pedestrian survey (Phase 1), and data recovery excavation (Phase 3); geoarchaeology; radiocarbon dating sampling protocols; tephra identification and sampling; earth pigment collection and use; basic desert craft. Some opportunities will require time after regular excavation hours.

-This field school meets the rigorous field school standards of the national Register of Professional Archaeologists.

Archaeological Setting

Rimrock Draw is a modest, north-facing rockshelter with remarkably deep sediment accumulation that is located in the “Ancient Lakes District” of the northern Great Basin west of Burns Oregon. Currently in the sixth year of excavation, Rimrock Draw is the location where an orange agate stone tool was recovered beneath a lens of Mt. St. Helens volcanic ash that dates to 13,000 radiocarbon years in age. Projectile points recovered within the rockshelter include Black Rock Concave Base, Windust, Haskett, Great Basin Transverse, Cascade, Parman Types 1 and 2, and Northern Side-notched. Fluted point technology is evident at a surface scatter across the stream channel from the shelter, suggesting the presence of people at the site near the time of Clovis. Bone preservation is limited, but camelid teeth fragments have been collected there as well as artifacts with evidence of adhering Pleistocene-aged bison and horse protein residues.

To apply and for more information about the field school visit our website:

Contact: Dr. Patrick O’Grady: or (541)346-0671


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