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Idaho State University

Idaho State University to offer archaeology field school in May

POCATELLO – This May anthropology students at Idaho State University will have the opportunity to participate at the 2016 archaeology field school, spending one month learning how to excavate, survey and record and identify artifacts.

“Idaho archaeology has great potential,” said Andy Speer, ISU anthropology professor and field school director. “There are a lot of untapped resources and unexplored areas.”

The field school location is 1.5 hours north of Boise in the Sweet Ola Valley. The site features more than 1,700 acres to explore. The land owner has been collecting artifacts on the surface for more than 50 years. Some of the artifacts found so far date to between 500 and 8,000 years old. The students will look for hunter-gatherer artifacts and camp sites. They hope to identify Paleoindian archaeology in the valley, specifically the Clovis culture from 12,900 to 13,200 years ago. These artifacts can include stone, bone, muscle shell, pottery pieces, wood and charcoal.

“The information that students will learn in field school are applicable to any site around the world,” Speer said. “Our main goal is to give students learning experience and train them to get jobs after graduation.”

There will be 10 to 15 students attending the field school, ranging from freshmen to seniors. Extracurricular activities for students to enjoy include fishing, wildlife viewing, atlatl throwing and more.

Speer, a first year professor at ISU, came from Texas State University. There he spent time discovering the earliest evidence of human beings in the New World dating to 15,500 years ago at the Gault Site in central Texas. He has also spent time in Bolivia, Peru, Ethiopia, Sudan and throughout the American Southwest. His main areas of research are stone-tool technology, geochemistry and understanding the peopling of the New World. He also has produced stone tools for experimental purposes for the last 16 years using traditional tools, such as antler and stone

For more information on the field school, contact Andy Speer at 282-2629 or (210) 885-1815 or