What Lies Beneath
University of Idaho faculty, students and former students opened up a whole new world in Sandpoint, Idaho during an excavation project that took place over the last two years. But the work isn’t done yet as University students and professionals work together to discover what the artifacts mean, and now chemistry students are also participating in the multi-disciplinary project to help analyze bottle contents.
The excavation team at the site of historical Sandpoint, an old logging town now turned tourist destination, uncovered 600,000-800,000 artifacts that are helping students learn how a relatively small old West town was linked to the global market and how people once lived. When the cataloguing and analysis is finished, the collection will be largely housed at the University for student use.
And while a majority of artifacts have been sent to a lab in Spokane, the University is one of the few places in the region that has the technical expertise to analyze 67 boxes of animal bones, which will help the team discover what people in Sandpoint were eating in 100 years ago.
The roughly $360,000 contract from the Idaho Transportation Department that associate anthropology professor Mark Warner and his students are working under is one of the largest the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences has received in recent years.