Archaeology and Geoarchaeology Field School at the Cooper’s Ferry Site, Idaho

This listing expired on October 1, 2018. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Cottonwood, ID, US

Season: June 25, 2018 to August 17, 2018

Session Dates: June 25-August 17

Application Deadline: June 15, 2018

Deadline Type: Exact date


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

Oregon State University, Department of Anthropology

Project Director:
Dr. Loren G. Davis, PhD

Project Description:

2018 Cooper’s Ferry Archaeology and Geoarchaeology Field School (June 25-August 17)

Cooper’s Ferry Archaeology Field School, led by Dr. Loren Davis, will be returning to resume excavations at the Cooper’s Ferry site in the summer of 2018. The Cooper’s Ferry site is located in the beautiful lower Salmon River canyon of western Idaho and contains some of the earliest evidence of humans in the Pacific Northwest. Previous excavations show that the Cooper’s Ferry site contains a long record of repeated human occupation, beginning with a Western Stemmed Tradition assemblage associated with radiocarbon dates of 11,370 and 11,410 14C years BP. These dates are controversial and, if true, support arguments that peoples bearing the Clovis tradition were not the first to settle the Far West. Our upcoming work at the site will build upon the exciting information collected already and will seek to address many archaeological questions related to the evolution of technology, economic patterns, and environmental conditions during the late Pleistocene to early Holocene period (ca. 13,000-13,000 cal BP). Ultimately, the OSU excavations at Cooper’s Ferry will hopefully contribute critical data to answer many questions about the first peoples of the Pacific Northwest and, by extension, the Americas. Join us this coming summer to learn professional archaeological excavation, recordation, and field curation skills as we seek clues about the first peoples of Far Western North America. Students will also get an introduction to landscape and site-level approaches to geoarchaeological study–perspectives that are important in the search for and study of the First Americans. Apply soon to be a part of the 2018 OSU expedition to the Cooper’s Ferry site. Current OSU students and non-OSU students are welcome to apply.

Period(s) of Occupation: Paleoindian/Paleoarchaic, Late Pleistocene, Early Holocene

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Eight weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No experience is required.

Room and Board Arrangements:
We will camp for free on public land a short distance away from the site.  Participants must provide their own personal tent and basic camping gear.  We will provide kitchen, bathroom, and shower facilities for all students. Cost: In addition to tuition, students will pay for their own food during the summer. We provide transportation from camp to town for grocery shopping and to do laundry on the weekends. Costs vary by student, but expanses of $100 or less per week are typical. Transportation to and from Oregon State University is free. Students bringing their own vehicles or flying to and from the Portland International Airport or the Lewiston, Idaho airport will pay for their own travel expenses. Students must purchase some personal hand tools at minimal cost.

Academic Credit:
12 undergraduate credits (ANTH 438) or 9 graduate credits (ANTH 538) credits offered by Oregon State University. Tuition is 12 credits of ANTH 438 is $3230.58. 9 credits of ANTH 538 is $4931.58..

Contact Information:

Dr. Loren Davis

Oregon State University, Department of Anthropology, 238 Waldo Hall





Phone: 541-737-3849

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