Jackson Hole Archaeological Initiative

Welcome to the Jackson Hole Archaeological Initiative, the archaeological research division of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. We are currently involved in a variety of research projects and educational programming related to archaeology in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and abroad.


Mercill Archaeology Center:

The core of our programming is based out of the Mercill Archaeological Center on Mercill Avenue in downtown Jackson, Wyoming where we offer classes and activities focused on Native American and homesteader archaeology and culture. The M.A.C. features three rooms; the ‘Archaeology Room’, the ‘Trading Post’, and the ‘Living Off The Land Room’. Our archaeology room features a large mock archaeological dig, a microscope lab, stratigraphy wall, and animal bone lab. The trading post is packed full of fur-trapper, Oregon Trail, and homesteader artifacts. The Living Off the Land Room features a 12 foot Shoshone style tipi, petroglyph wall, mining exhibit, and an animal/plant resources exhibit. Together, the three rooms and multiple activity stations at the M.A.C. provide a comprehensive view of archaeological practice and the history of Jackson Hole.

The Mercill Archaeology Center is currently open on a program basis only. Classes can be scheduled at any time but are limited to 15 students. Please see the links at the bottom of the page for sample activities and prices.

The Mercill Archaeology Center was dedicated to and named in memory of Mark James Mercill in August 2014.

Mark James Mercill was a fourth generation Jackson Hole native, a free spirit — adventurous and filled with love for this valley. Mark was also a true historian; he had a passion for discovering artifacts and rocks — old bits of history left behind from another time. A sharer of stories, he remembered and shared many stories about the pioneers, the homesteaders, and the characters who formed the legacy of Jackson Hole.

Mark spent much of his life being a mentor for children. His patient kindness in imparting his knowledge helped many a young person find their talents and direction in life. He never forgot a friend, never knew a stranger — Mark was known and loved by many.

If you are interested in setting up an archaeologically themed program, class, or excursion, please feel free to contact M.A.C. directors Rebecca Sgouros or Matt Stirn or call the office at 307-733-2414. Please see the links below for a sample of our programs, sample itinerary, and program price guide.

School Visits / Classroom Programming:

Students display a mural showcasing the Crow creation story.

In addition to in-house programming at the M.A.C., many of our courses can be brought into your classroom or facility. Archaeology is a multidisciplinary field that can be integrated into almost any curriculum. If you are interested in having us visit your class, please feel free to contact us regarding any of our set programs, or to build a custom course.

For more information about our research, buildings or to schedule a program, please email the Archaeology Team, Matt Stern/ Rebecca Sguoros at rebecca@jacksonholehistory.org or matt@jacksonholehistory.org or call the museum at 307-733- 2414.