Archaeology Field Day

Written by: Chriziel Childers

Chriziel Childers doing fieldwork in Lake Mead National Recreation Area

June 23, 2021

As an archives technician, I am usually working either inside an office or collections room handling archives and other documents. On June 23rd, I went out to the field with our department’s archaeologist to assist with field work.

Our day started early at 6:00am, leaving headquarters to go to the field on the Arizona side of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. It was a cloudy day with a high of 93° and a low of ­79­°. With my hiking backpack, long sleeved shirt, pants, and hiking shoes, we headed out to Temple Bar Marina in Arizona. 

Driving through Lake Mead National Recreation Area from Boulder City, NV to Temple Bar Marina, AZ

We documented historic structures and important sites around the area until afternoon. I learned about navigating with a GPS, logging individual photo descriptions into a log, and writing up reports for structures and sites. 

Hiking through dirt roads and unpaved paths was a challenge for me as a high beginner to low intermediate level hiker. Bringing enough water and using a hydration pack helped me get through some of its challenges. One of the most important things to remember in the desert is to constantly hydrate yourself. With cloudy weather, I was lucky enough to not experience fatigue from the heat, and managed to complete our goals of the day by the afternoon.

A view near Temple Bar Marina, AZ

We had our break during our hike, and the environment surrounding us as we ate our lunch was serene and peaceful. The breeze cooled us off and gave us the energy to finish the hike. 

This experience wouldn’t have been possible without our department’s archaeologist suggesting I go with her for a field day. Cataloging through the map collections is my goal for my ACE service term, but these occasional excursions and experiences have been helpful in seeing what other people do inside the national parks. Being out there assisting in fieldwork has been a beneficial experience for me as I navigate my career path for my future. 

Hiking through unpaved paths for fieldwork
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