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Antelope Creek Archaeological Field School at Cross Bar Ranch

Students at the Antelope Creek

Dates and Location

Summer I 2017

Course Offering: ANTH 4630

Summer 2017 CRN: 53139

Program Director: Dr. Britt Bousman

Cost: All costs and payment due dates listed below are subject to change. Please continue to check back for updated information. 

Join Dr. Britt Bousman and graduate student Sarah Himes for 4 weeks of hands-on training in archaeological field methods at the Cross Bar Ranch, a picturesque area in the Texas Panhandle with extraordinary preservation of Antelope Creek farmsteads and archaic hunter-gatherer sites. Students will also have access to the renown Alibates Flint Quarries. The field school will be based at the Cross Bar Ranch, which is located 15 miles north of Amarillo, Texas, within the spectacular Canadian Breaks in the Southern Plains. The final week will be spent in San Marcos, learning artifact classification and curation methods at the Center for Archaeological Studies lab on campus.

The field school will be focused on teaching students the essential research skills required in traditional archaeology. The field research will take place on the northern edge of the Southern Plains overlooking the Canadian River valley with incised canyons and vast prairies. We will be excavating a small Antelope Creek farmstead, know as 41PT96, which overlooks the Canadian River. Students will also learn how to conduct archaeological surveys. This summer’s research is part of an extended project that has focused on the archaeology of the Southern Plains. We have excavated two other sites on the Ranch and continue to provide important evidence of these unique inhabitants of the Southern Plains.

Students in Field

Students Will Learn

  • Students will learn how to develop a research design and data collection protocols.
  • Students will learn field methods for documenting and sampling archaeological sites and deposits, including digital photography, 3D mapping, laying out excavation units, hand excavation using arbitrary and natural layers, and stratigraphic profiling.
  • Students will learn laboratory procedures, record-keeping, cataloging, and record curation.
  • Students will compare and contrast current theories regarding natural and cultural formation processes.
  • Student will become familiar with the foraging and horticultural adaptations and the archaeology of the Southern Plains region.
  • Students will have prepared a detailed field journal for future reference and research ideas.

This undergraduate archaeological field school is offered through the Office of Distance and Extended Learning at Texas State University.


Most days in June will be hot and dry, with lower humidity and less rain than San Marcos. Survey days, site tours, and exploration will involve hikes through steep, rugged terrain. We will take appropriate precautions including proper sun protection, hydration, hiking attire, pacing, and taking advantage of the early morning hours. Still, not for the faint-hearted.


Students will be camping on the Cross Bar Ranch and contributing to daily cooking and camp life. Food for all meals will be provided.

Tuition and Program Fee

Tuition for six hours of undergraduate university credit: $1,549.98

Program Fee (lodging, meals, and transportation): $300.00

Important Note: Personal expenses are not included in the Program Fee.

Course tuition and the Program Fee will be billed to your regular Texas State account and paid through SBS Billing and Payment.

Drops and Refunds

All university policies regarding installments, course drops, and refunds apply to all billed and paid tuition and program fees.

Applying for the Program

Instructor approval is required to participate in this program. Enrollment is limited to 15 participants.

The early enrollment period of (date: TBA) is open only to current Texas State students. After this time, enrollment will be open to any qualified undergraduate student until the program fills. 

Before submitting the online program application below, please contact Dr. Britt Bousman at to discuss receiving approval.

Once approved, please complete the following online extension program application:

          Archaeological Field Study Application

Important: In addition to the completed online application, the following documents must also be submitted. You will be asked to attach them electronically to your application:

          General Release

          Health Information

          Insurance Verification

Once the online application has been processed, students will receive further instructions from the Office of Distance and Extended Learning on how to register for the course.

Registering for Course

You must register for your academic course though the Student Information System/Catsweb during the regular university registration period.


Field School Participants at Alibates Quarries

Field School Participants at Alibates Quarries