USU Archaeologists Search for Artifacts in Power County

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Updated: 7/17/2013 6:58 pm

A scene similar to what you might find in an Indiana Jones movie is taking place in a remote section of Power County. Archaeologists are sifting through the sand for evidence of past cultures.

You won’t find any textbooks where these students are and good luck looking anything up with your cellphone in this poor coverage area. This is archaeology in its purist form and it’s taking place here in eastern Idaho.

“When you think archaeology, it’s that guy in the tweed coat with the leather patches and it’s so esoteric,” said David Byers, an Archaeologist at Utah State University. “We can come out here and we have Sho-Ban here, this stuff we are finding now is probably directly related to them.”

Taking the students out of the classroom and into the field is benefiting many involved. The tribes are learning more about their people, the BLM is learning better ways to manage public lands and the students are learning from the source.

“In a textbook they show you the site, but here we actually have to go out and find it so we know what we are actually looking for,” said Utah State University Senior, Michelle Murri.

From a distance it’s hard to appreciate the significance of the archaeological dig site. But if you look closer you’ll see just how much history is there and they’ve only scratched the surface.

“You learn that these little bits of bone are significant and all this little stuff adds up to be someone’s house, someone’s home,” said Murri.

For those who ancestors might have lived in this very spot, each artifact carries even more meaning.

“The trees, the sand, the rocks, the cliffs, that’s all a part of our being and we feel that it is what makes us as Indian people,” said tribal member Carolyn Boyersmith.

The tribes are asking that you keep this in mind when visiting this special place

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