Sierra Watkins, senior in Anthropology, participated in the 2017 University of Oklahoma Archaeological Field School during the month of June. She gained basic training in archaeological fieldwork through investigations at the Deer Creek site (34KA3), a protohistoric Wichita Indian settlement near Newkirk, Oklahoma. K-State alumnus Dr. Sarah Trabert, Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma, led the project. Trabert graduated from Kansas State University in 2008 with a degree in Anthropology and minor in History and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 2015.
As participants of the field school camped for the entire month, Sierra said that she had to mentally prepare herself for that part of the experience as well as obtain camping gear. Mother Nature was a major obstacle during the dig. “The heat was definitely against us, sometimes it stormed making digging difficult, and bugs were constantly attacking us.” Despite it being a lot more work than she had expected, she said that it was a very rewarding experience as it reinforced her studies in archaeology at K-State and helped her gain a better understanding of how to reconstruct past lifeways.
The biggest highlight of the summer for Sierra was when she and her dig partner unearthed horse bones, which had not been found previously at any Wichita site.
Photos courtesy of Sarah Trabert, University of Oklahoma 2017 Archaeological Field School.