My Public Lands Summer Road Trip: Cooper's Ferry Archaeological Site
Want to learn firsthand how an archaeological dig is conducted? Each summer, Oregon State University and the BLM conduct an archaeological field school at Cooper’s Ferry just south of Cottonwood, Idaho. Cooper’s Ferry contains some of the earliest evidence of humans in the Pacific Northwest. Students from across the country have participated in this eight-week long course since 1997 and have cataloged over 30,000 items to-date.
OSU Professor Dr. Loren Davis leads the field school program. His past research has shown there was human occupation of the canyon dating back to nearly 11,500 years ago. The field school is carefully uncovering layers of that history, “piecing” together generations of past uses. "We know that many people are interested in the history of the river canyon, just as we are,“ said David Sisson, BLM archaeologist who assists with the field school. “This is a unique opportunity for the public to see the excavation process and learn how the various layers of sediment provide clues to the lifestyles of previous canyon inhabitants.”
Visitors are welcome to visit the dig, free of charge charge, Wednesday through Sunday from 7:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. This year, the course runs June 22 – August 14. Check with the local BLM office for more information.