1971-1973: Utah & Northern Arizona
Tom Venner's formal archaeological training came at Southern Utah State College under the direction of Dr. Richard Thompson. Tom's fieldwork began by surveying sites in southern Utah, and then excavating a pre-Pueblo site on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
Dr. Richard Thompson
Dr. Richard Thompson, director of archaeology at Southern Utah State College introduced Venner to the world of Archaeology. Thompson's excavation was within the Grand Canyon's inner rim, within a mile from the deepest part of the canyon.
Venner worked this site for two seasons, learning the rudiments of archaeology, and discovering a passion that has lasted his entire life.
The site being excavated was a pre-Pueblo, pre-Anasazi site, dating to the first couple centuries, A.D.
The site consisted of a number of pit houses, storage pits, and trash heaps.
The archaeological fieldteam lived in tents, ate meals cooked over campfires, and basically, 'roughed it'.