School Trip to Crow Canyon is Homecoming for College Professor

DrScottIngram ColoradoCollege
Colorado College Professor Dr. Scott Ingram (Photo: Crow Canyon Archaeological Center)

It turns out that you can come home again. Just ask Dr. Scott Ingram.

Ingram, a professor of Anthropology at Colorado College in Colorado Springs and a former Crow Canyon intern, found that out when he brought a group of his students to Crow Canyon in early March for a week of hands-on archaeological education.

"It feels very familiar. It's great," said Ingram, who worked at Crow Canyon as an intern in 2004. "I feel very welcome—it's nice to be remembered. (Dr. Susan Ryan) was my boss at the Albert Porter site when I was a field intern, and (Dr. Mark Varien) was here, and he is an important figure in Southwest archaeology. So it was nice to see them again."

Ingram's students learned about pottery and artifact analysis during their stay at Crow Canyon, as well as the different cultural perspectives on Southwest archaeology.

"It's important to think about this work, the study of the past, from many perspectives," said Ingram. "This is not simple, uncontroversial work that we do. So I think Crow Canyon provides a more complete experience than you can find in most places."

Ingram says that his first experience with Crow Canyon actually happened when he participated in the Center's Archaeology Research Program with his wife. He says he followed that up with a second visit where he participated in a week-long trip to Utah's Slickhorn Canyon with Dr. Bill Lipe and Dr. Ricky Lightfoot.

"To be an intern even that first time was pretty neat, going from participant to staff member," says Ingram, who says that his most memorable experience as a Crow Canyon intern was being able to excavate down to the floor of a kiva.

"I think the internship was 10 weeks, and it's rare that anyone gets to spend 10 weeks in the field," says Ingram. "I remember that when my internship was over on a Friday, I think the dig was only about an inch above the floor, so I asked Susan if I could stay just a few more days so I could just finish the excavation and recording of the floor of the kiva."

"When you're down there on the floor of the kiva, with your boots off, in your socks, trying not to break things—it doesn't get any better than that."

For Ingram, bringing his students from Colorado College back to where his professional interest in archaeology began is especially gratifying.

"It feels like a nice circle has been completed. It's a privilege for me and for (my students) to have access to this diverse and rich educational resource and archaeological experience. I can't do this in the classroom or the resources we have available at the school."