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Archaeology and Geoarchaeology at Cooper's Ferry

Location: Oregon, United States

June 23, 2014 to August 15, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Friday, June 13, 2014

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: PDF icon 2014_cf_field_school_flyer_1.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Oregon State University

Project Director:

Loren Davis, OSU Associate Professor of Anthropology

Project Description

The Oregon State University Archaeology and Geoarchaeology Field School will be returning to continue excavation of early Western Stemmed Tradition components (possibly dating to 11,410 radiocarbon years old) at the Cooper's Ferry site during the summer of 2014 from June 23 to August 15th. During this eight week session, students learn state of the art excavation and recordation methods, including the use of total station surveying instruments, 3D scanning of excavation features and stratigraphy, wireless digital data entry of finds, and portable x-ray fluorescence devices.  This year, we'll also bring our new Geoprobe coring rig into the field to provide students with an introduction to the study of geoarchaeological records at landscape scales from cored stratigraphic sequences. 

Period(s) of Occupation: 13,000-9,000 calendar years

archaeology, geoarchaeology, lower Salmon River canyon, Idaho, prehistoric, excavation

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full period (8 weeks)

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No prior archaeology experience or coursework required

Room and Board Arrangements

We will be living in tents in a field camp near the Salmon River. OSU will provide kitchen and dining facilities amd fresh drinking water. Portable toilets will also be provided for student use. There are no charges for camping and living arrangements. Our camp is located about 20 minutes from Cottonwood, Idaho, which has many services. Transportation to and from the field (beginning and ending in Corvallis, OR) will be provided. In field transportation will be provided.

Varies and depends on individual: minimum $50-$75/week for groceries and laundry

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Oregon State University
Number of credits offered 12
$2,459 for 12 undergraduate OSU credits; $4,246 for 9 graduate credits


Contact Information
Dr. Loren Davis
Oregon State University, Department of Anthropology, 238 Waldo Hall
(541) 737-3849
(541) 737-3650
Recommended Bibliography: 

Davis, Loren G. and Charles E. Schweger, Geoarchaeological context of late Pleistocene and early Holocene occupation at the Cooper's Ferry site, western Idaho, USA. , Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, 19(7): 685-704, 2004
Davis, Loren G., Lower Salmon River cultural chronology: A revised and expanded model, Northwest Anthropological Research Notes, 35(2): 229-248, 2001,
Davis, Loren G., Paleoseismicity and prehistoric anadromous fish exploitation in the Salmon River basin, western Idaho, North American Archaeologist, 23(3): 233-263, 2008,
Davis, Loren G. and Karlis Muehlenbachs, A late Pleistocene to early Holocene record of precipitation reflected in Margaritifera falcata shell δ18O from three archaeological sites in the lower Salmon River canyon, Idaho, Journal of Archaeological Science, 28: 291-303, 2001,
Davis, Loren G., K. Muehlenbachs, C.E. Schweger, and N.W. Rutter, Differential response of vegetation to postglacial climate in the lower Salmon River canyon, Idaho, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology , 185(3-4): 1-16, 2002,