Linking Southwestern Heritage Through Archaeology

Linking Southwestern Heritage Through Archaeology

Linking Southwest Heritage Through Archaeology (LSWHTA) is a program that connects high school students from the southwest to their cultural histories using regional archaeology as a bridge. LSWHTA offers students and teachers the opportunity for hands-on, behind-the-scenes archaeological experiences at cultural sites, in university labs, and at regional national parks. LSWHTA is a partnership between the National Park Service and the University of Arizona School of Anthropology and the College of Education. The program is funded by the National Park Service’s Washington Office of Cultural Resource Stewardship and Sciences Program. LSWHTA is also supported by the Western National Parks Association. 

Through their participation, our Southwest Archaeology Student Scholars (SASS) will learn about the rich history and pre-European archaeological story of the Southwest. Our scholars will visit National Park Service parks and monuments, cultural and historical museums, multiple heritage sites, and UA archaeology laboratories. Hands-on activities will also be involved, including an archaeological dig and artifact analysis, as well as overnight trips to the Grand Canyon, Wupatki National Monument, and New Mexico. Through it all, our Scholars are tasked to think critically about their experiences to further their understanding and involvement in the cultural heritage of the Southwest and careers in archaeology, cultural preservation, and history. 

LSWHTA Program Description

arrows illustrating progress through the LSWHTA program

Archaeology as People and Place

Southwest Archaeology Student Scholars visit and explore various archaeological sites, labs, and educational facilities throughout Arizona and New Mexico gaining hands-on experiences in archaeology and cultural heritage.


Archaeology as Practice

Archaeologists, naturalists, and community experts provide workshops and presentations on the methods used in excavation, preservation, and interpretation. Cultural experts provide education on the historical and cultural significance of sites.


Archaeology as Personal

Student Scholars are supported in exploring their personal and cultural connections to cultural sites and archaeological practices. Guiding questions encourage students to use their own funds of knowledge and cultural identities to reflect on and interpret the sites and archaeological practices.


Archaeology as a Profession

Student Scholars engage with the University of Arizona through visits to labs, academic departments, and other campus facilities. They also will engage with professors, researchers, and undergraduate and graduate students and explore various career and educational pathways in archaeology, anthropology, education, history, Mexican American studies, and Native American studies, to name a few.

Please visit our shared College of Education and School of Anthropology website to learn more. 


For more information, contact James Burton, Project Coordinator, at or 774-238-1513.