UO field school certified by Register of Professional Archaeologists

EUGENE, Ore. — (April 1, 2013) — The Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA) has granted its official seal of approval to the Northern Great Basin Prehistory Project, making the University of Oregon's summer field school one of nine RPA-certified programs in the United States, and the only one in the Pacific Northwest.

Jointly sponsored by the Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Historical Archaeology, the Archaeological Institute of America and the American Anthropological Association, RPA establishes and upholds rigorous, universal standards for archaeological research and ethics.

"RPA is the standard-bearer for appropriate archaeological conduct in the field, in the laboratory and in reporting," said Patrick O'Grady, archaeologist at the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History. "Certification recognizes the field school program as meeting the highest standards of research, site stewardship and student training." It also makes the field school eligible to receive one of four $1,000 scholarships to be awarded to a deserving student.

UO archaeologists have directed field schools in Oregon for 74 years — the last 24 in the Northern Great Basin area. This summer's program will run from June 24 to Aug. 3 at Rimrock Draw Rockshelter, near Riley, in Southeastern Oregon. It will include sections in archaeology, geoarchaeology and paleoethnobotany. Students will learn survey, excavation, mapping and record-keeping methods in a hands-on format. Applications are being accepted until June 1.

"The field school provides an exceptional opportunity for students to train at one of Oregon's oldest cultural sites," said Dennis Jenkins, senior archaeologist at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and director of the field school program. "RPA certification will increase the visibility of this longstanding program and help attract students from around the United States."

Luther Cressman, considered by many to be the father of Oregon archaeology, established the UO's field school program in 1937. In 1938, his team recovered a number of sagebrush bark sandals from below a layer of volcanic ash in Central Oregon's Fort Rock Cave. Radiocarbon dating confirmed the now-famous sandals are more than 10,000 years old.

About the Museum of Natural and Cultural History
The UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History is Oregon's primary repository for anthropological and paleontological collections. The museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and youths ages 17 and under, and $8 for families (two adults and up to four youths). Museum members are admitted free. Admission is free to the public on Wednesdays. Guided tours are offered each Friday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Media Contact:
Kristin Strommer, communications & marketing specialist, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, kstromme@uoregon.edu, 541-346-5083.

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Gallery

Crew works at Rimrock Draw in 2011