Mesa Verde Country
Archaeology, Native American Art: Southwest Intergenerational Program
Excavate a dig site with an archeologist, weave a rug with a Navajo teacher and create pottery from mud to polish as you explore ancient ruins and learn from Native Americans.
Rating (4.67)
Program No. 4947RJ
7 days
Starts at
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

The Southwest comes alive during this week of exploring the cultures of prehistoric and modern Native Americans. Learn to excavate and recognize artifacts while working on a 1,000-year-old site, led by an archaeologist. Discover Native American arts as you create your own pottery, weave a small rug in the ways of the Navajo and imagine what life was like for the ancient Puebloans as you descend into a prehistoric ceremonial kiva. Meet modern day members of the Ute and Navajo tribe and enjoy their music, dance, and stories about their lives in cowboy country. Grandchilden have special additional hands-on activities and insights regarding how the Ancient Ones lived in this country (while adults rest). No one knows what lies buried in the ground, until you sift through the dirt on the archaeological preserve where you are staying.
Activity Level
Site elevations of 5,500-7,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • From mud to the finished piece, absorb skills to make your own pottery — from making the clay, forming vessels, painting and polishing them as the prehistoric Puebloans did.
  • Learn to weave a rug in the traditional Navajo style, taught by a Navajo artist.
  • A field trip to Mesa Verde National Park, led by an archaeologist, takes you back in time to wonder at the skills of the ancient cliff-dwellers.

General Notes

Program intended for grandchildren ages 10-13.
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Barbara Grist
An artist of many talents, Barbara Grist is a retired art educator who has lived in Cortez for over 30 years. In addition to running her own photography studio for the past 13 years, Barbara creates fused glass jewelry, masks and silver jewelry. Her work has been exhibited at numerous locations, including the Open Shutter Contemporary Photography Gallery in Durango and Cortez Cultural Center, and has won several awards. Barbara’s artwork has appeared on the cover of Arts Perspective magazine, and can be found in the permanent collection in Southwest Memorial Hospital and Axis Health, as well as in various private collections around the world. In 2011, she was an Artist in Residence at the Aspen Guard Station.
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Barbara Grist
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Joel Gamache
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