Skip to Content

Lower Pecos Canyonlands Archaeological Field School at Eagle Nest Canyon

Students at the Archaeological Field School around an earth oven
Dates:  TBA

Course Offering:  ANTH 4630


Program Director:  Dr. Steve Black

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

Join us for a month of hands-on training in archaeological field methods in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of southwest Texas, a remote area with an unparalleled 13,000 year record of hunter-gatherer life found in rockshelters with extraordinary organic preservation and vivid rock art, as well as an intriguing and little-known array of settlement features.  The field school will be based at the SHUMLA campus, which is located 50 miles west of Del Rio, Texas, within the Lower Pecos River Region. 

The field school will be focused on developing the essential research skills required in traditional archaeology. The field research will take place in and around Eagle Nest Canyon (ENC).  This mile-long box canyon tributary of the Rio Grande near Langtry, Texas houses several well-known sites, such as Bonfire Shelter and Eagle Cave. The Ancient Southwest Texas (ASWT) project of Texas State is carrying a multiyear research program in the canyon (see   Field school investigations will include work in a smaller rockshelter within the canyon and in a plant baking facility (burned rock midden) at the head of the canyon.

Students in Field

Students Will Learn

  • Students will learn how to establish 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, cataloguing, and records curation
  • Students will compare and contrast current theories regarding natural and cultural formation processes.
  • Student will become familiar with the foraging adaptation, hunter-gatherer belief systems, and the archaeology of the Lower Pecos region.
  • Students will have prepared a detailed field journal for future reference and research ideas.

Cost of Program

Tuition: $1,507.26 (6 credit hours)
Program Fees:  $25.00 Application Fee + $1200.00 Program Expenses*  (Paid separately from tuition)

If there are any questions regarding the Program Fees, please contact Dr. Steve Black.

*Students can apply for merit and need-based scholarships if accepted into the field school.

Note:  At this time, the tuition and program expense amounts are subject to change. 

Applying for the Program

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

Students need to download and complete an Initial Application.  This initial application is to be scanned and emailed to the program director, Dr. Black.

When students are approved by the program director, they will be notified via email, and will be directed to complete the online extension program application (link below).

          Program Application is Not Currently Available

When completing the online application, you will also be asked to attach a completed and signed copy of the following documents:

          General Release

          Health Information

          Insurance Verification

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

Registering for Courses

Students register for academic courses through the Student Information System/Catsweb during regular University registration periods for Summer 2016, which begins March 21, 2016.

Tuition is paid online through SBS Billing and Payment.

Students will find additional information about registering and paying for the academic course associated with this program on the Extension Course Application and Registration page or they can contact the Office of Distance and Extended Learning

This is done separately from paying the program fees.


Most days in June will be hot and dry, with lower humidity and less rain than San Marcos.  Survey days, site tours, and canyonland 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 moring hourse.  Still, not for the faint-hearted.


Students will be staying at the SHUMLA campus for the duration of the course.  Lodging and all meals will be provided.

Payment Schedule

Total Cost of the program is $2,732.26.  This cost includes the following:
      Tuition for six hours of undergraduate university credit:  $1,507.26
      Program Fees (lodging and meals): $1200.00 + $25.00 Non-refundable Application Fee

Students register and pay for the academic course through the Student Information System/Catsweb during regular University registration and billing periods for Summer 2016.

Program Fees are paid directly to the Ancient Southwest Texas (ASWT) project of Texas State by each student.  Program fees submitted after May 1 must include an additional $100 late fee.

Program Fee Payment Schedule

First Payment Due April 1st $650.00 + $25.00 = $675.00
Scholarship Applications Due April 15th Due to Texas State
Second Payment Due May 1st $550.00
Total Program Fees   $1200 + $25 Application Fee

Refund Schedule

Students drop and receive refunds for the academic course according to the general University refund schedule for Summer 2016 classes.

Program Fee: 100% ($1200) until May 15; 50% ($600) May 16 - 31.  No refunds after May 31, 2016.

Cancellation must be made in writing to the Office of Distance and Extended Learning.  As indicated above, participants may lose all or part of the total payment, depending on the date of cancellation.


2013 LPC Field School Participants

2013 LPC Field School Participants with Dr. Steve Black

ENC Field SchoolAdditional Information

Dr. Steve Black, Program Director
Visit the ASWT Blog at: