New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies

Project Archaeology

Project Archaeology is teacher training curriculum originally sponsored and developed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and implemented by state coordinators and trained master teachers. The growing body of curricula serves to teach students about the nation’s rich scientific, cultural, historical, and anthropological heritage. Its goal is to strengthen students’ critical thinking skills through hands-on, archaeologically based themes, like food and shelter.

Over the years and continuing, OAS educators regularly provide training and support to teachers and facilitators. Shelby Jones, trained by Mollie Toll and certified by as a master teacher through the Project Archaeology national office, is one of New Mexico’s two state coordinators.

Together Shelby and OAS editor Melissa Martinez are continuing the long-standing tradition, started by Mollie Toll, to aid in the development of further Project Archaeology curricula. Mollie’s flagship program “Investigating a pit house near Quemado, NM” will be completed this year, carrying forward her legacy. The pit house (more accurately described as the pit "structure") was once the most common type of habitation in the American Southwest. It was later developed into the more common free-standing Pueblo roomblock structures common to Puebloan architecture.

Exploring a prehistoric pit house

Project Archaeology National Office:

Upcoming Teacher Trainings

Investigating Shelter: spring/summer of 2024; details forthcoming