This summer I attended the University of Oregon archaeological field school, directed by Patrick O’Grady and Dennis Jenkins of the Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. This six-week program was part of the Northern Great Basin Prehistory Project, an ongoing archaeological field school that focus’s its research within the Northern Great Basin area.

The site we excavated during the 2013 summer field season was Rim Rock Draw Rockshelter, located outside the town of Riley, Oregon. The field school consisted of approximately 25 students from all over the country, and was also partnered with a geoarchaeology field school of 8 students. My experience at Rim Rock Draw Rockshelter is one that I will never forget.

The six weeks consisted of camping out in the desert of the Northern Great Basin without running water or electricity, which was not at all as bad as it may sound.

We began the field season with a two day lithic analysis workshop taught by specialist Mike Rondeau, which was then followed by our first days “in the field” learning how to precisely measure and prepare our digging unit. The remaining time included field trips, lectures by visiting archaeologists, and LOTS of digging. I was honored to work at such an exciting site and under the most prestigious archaeologists of the region. We had a terrific field season and I am proud to say that I took part in discovering aspects of North American archaeology.  

    – Michelle Mattar, anthropology major


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