The Totah Archaeological Project(TAP) was established in 1999 as a research project and field school financially sponsored and administered as a joint project between San Juan College and B-Square Ranch. The project was initiated by Tommy Bolack, owner and manager of the Bolack Minerals Company-B-Square Ranch and the Bolack Museum Foundation, because of his enthusiasm for knowledge of the Anasazi people who lived in the Totah area of New Mexico and their environment. He wishes to share the 12,000 acre B-Square Ranch that is so rich in natural resources comprised of bountiful irrigated fields, a quality riverine environment, and rugged canyons and mesas. San Juan College and the San Juan College Foundation were pleased to share in sponsoring the project because of the great potential for educational and research opportunities which could arise from such collaboration. Initially, research is focused on the Chacoan Anasazi communities of the Middle San Juan River valley.
The six-week long field school, ANTH 288, Archaeological Field Methods, is managed and taught by Linda Wheelbarger. For 20 years, Wheelbarger was Co-director of San Juan College's Cultural Resources Management Program, a contract archaeology business. She has worked as a professional archaeologist in the Southwest for 37 years. Since retiring in 2010, she continues to teach the field school and other archaeology classes as Humanities Adjunct Faculty. Nine credit hours can be earned through the field school class or 3-6 credit hours through the ANTH 280 archaeology internship. The field school is always held during summer session. The 1999 TAP funding provided for production of a research design which was submitted to the New Mexico State Cultural Properties Review Committee prior to the first field school session. Yearly TAP funds provide for operation of the field school, analysis of the recovered artifacts and samples, research on special topics, and publications documenting the results.
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