Research Objectives

Traditionally classified as segmentary tribes, Plains Village societies are small independent communities whose constituent units (i.e., families or households) are structurally, economically, politically, and functionally equivalent. An ethnographically based model that incorporates each of these key characteristics of segmentary societies has been developed to guide research and interpretations at the Odessa Yates site. Specific research objectives of the 2000 field school focus on exchange and its relationship to broader social, political, and economic concerns of Plains Village society. To address these questions, samples obtained from excavated household and storage pit contexts are required. Thus, this summerís fieldwork will concentrate on the excavation of several contemporaneous households and their associated storage facilities at Odessa Yates. This information will provide the data necessary to reconstruct socioeconomic strategies of the occupants at the site.

Archaeological Training

Student enrolled in the 2000 University of Oklahoma Summer Field School will be exposed to a wide variety of archaeological techniques, including reconnaissance survey, excavation, site, feature, and artifact mapping procedures, record keeping, photography, screen recovery, and sampling techniques. However, the majority of instruction will concentrate on techniques associated with excavation, sampling, and mapping of cultural features, such as pithouses, storage pits, and hearths.


Archaeo-Physics L.L.C. of Minneapolis, Minnesota will be on hand to conduct a multi-day seminar on archaeological prospection techniques. This seminar will include hands on experience in conducting a geophysical survey at the site. Instruction will be given in the use of and interpretation of data from magnetometers, resistivity meters, ground penetrating radar, metal detectors, and magnetic susceptibility, and their applications to nondestructive subsurface investigations. Cultural features identified during this summerís geophysical survey will be subject to immediate testing and excavation.

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