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Explore the Wonders of the Past

From the remote jungles of Honduras to the pristine rivers of the American Southwest, our archaeological tours promise exciting adventure. Whether you like touring Maya temples or learning about North American rock art, you'll be sure to find a Conservancy tour that fits your interest. For more than 20 years, the Conservancy has conducted tours ranging in length from four days to two weeks. Expert guides always accompany our tours, providing unique insights about the places we visit. Tour regions include the American Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest, as well as Mexico and Central and South America.
Here are a few of the exciting tours we're offering in the coming months.
Click on info for a description of each tour
Aztecs, Toltecs and Teotihuacános
March 29 - April 7, 2014

Two thousand years ago, cultures that have long since vanished from Central Mexico constructed magnificent temples and pyramids. Today, these monuments of the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Teotihuacános remain a testament to the fascinating people who built them. This tour takes you to a number of sites, including those previously inhabited by the Olmec, a culture once known throughout the region for its art style. You’ll also visit the monuments of the Aztec, a civilization that witnessed the arrival of the Spanish. You’ll explore Teotihuacán, once a great urban center with a population of 200,000. Cornell archaeologist John Henderson will accompany us on the tour.

Yampa River
June 1 – 8, 2014

Join us for a downriver adventure in Colorado and Utah, where we’ll float through Dinosaur National Monument and experience incredible scenery first described by explorer John Wesley Powell.  On our 70-mile journey down the Yampa and Green Rivers we’ll visit remote archaeological sites, including Fremont culture rock art panels and prehistoric rock shelters.

Effigy Mounds of the Upper Mississippi Valley
June 7 – 10, 2014

In what is now Wisconsin, prehistoric Native Americans constructed about thousands of earthen mounds, more than in any other area of comparable size. We'll visit the best surviving examples of these fascinating constructions, with an emphasis on sites of the Effigy Mound Culture, the characteristic moundbuilder culture of the Upper Midwest which created mounds in the shapes of mammals, birds, and reptiles.

June 20 – July 5, 2014

From the golden tombs of the Moche on Peru's coastal plain, to the splendor of Cuzco and the magic of Machu Picchu high in the Andes, our tour promises to be an unforgettable adventure. Dr. John Henderson, an expert in the region’s archaeology, will join us.

French and Indian War Tour
September 6 – 14, 2014

Join us as we travel across New York and Pennsylvania to explore the rich history and archaeology of the French and Indian War. This epic struggle involving Native Americans, the English and French Empires, and Colonial forces was one of the first global conflicts and a defining moment in American history. On our journey we will meet with historians, archaeologists and native people at a variety of archaeological sites, museums, and interpretive centers. Some of the sites we will visit include Fort Niagara State Historic Site, Fort Ticonderoga, and Ganondagan State Historic Site. We’ll also stay overnight in picturesque Lake George, and stop at Niagara Falls.

Best of the Southwest
September 27 – October 7, 2014

The American Southwest is home to some of the best-preserved evidence of prehistoric civilizations in the New World. The magnificent ruins of Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde are but two vivid reminders of the complex cultures that dominated the region between the 10th and 14th centuries. The Conservancy’s Best of the Southwest tour includes these two settlements as well as other prehistoric sites and modern pueblos where ancient traditions persist.

Peoples of the Mississippi Valley
October 11 – 18, 2014

Beginning in Memphis and following the Mississippi River south to Natchez, our week-long journey covers more than 5,000 years of history. The trip offers an exciting opportunity to learn more about the rich and complex mound-builder cultures that flourished along the Mississippi River Valley until the arrival of the Europeans. While taking in the charms of the Old South, we’ll visit many important sites, including Emerald Mound, the third largest Mississippian mound in the United States. We’ll also visit sites from historic times, including the Grand Village of the Natchez and the Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg. Several of the Conservancy’s preserves, such as Watson Brake Mounds, which may be the oldest mound site in North America, are featured on the tour.

October 24 – November 3, 2014

Join us in Oaxaca, Mexico, during one of the most unusual festivals anywhere—the Day of the Dead. On this day, people prepare home altars and cemeteries to welcome the dead, who are believed to return to enjoy the food and drink they indulged in during life. Rather than being a morbid occasion, it’s a celebratory one. Our tour explores the Mixtecan and Zapotecan archaeological sites in the region, including Mitla, Monte Albán, San José Mogote, and Dainzú. You’ll have the opportunity to explore Oaxaca’s museums and markets as well as several crafts villages featuring weaving, pottery, carved animals, and other local art.


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