Archaeology

Screengrab / Idaho Statesman

The skeletal remains of two people were found in a badger hole near Mountain Home by Idaho Fish and Game officers this spring. The Elmore County Sheriff’s office initially treated the findings as possible homicides. The sheriff’s office sent samples to Florida and Arizona for carbon dating analysis.

Tuesday, officials released the results of the test – which found that the remains could date as far back as 1436 and are no longer being investigated as homicides.  It's estimated the bones of one belonged to a person who died around the age 20, the other likely belonged a teenager.

University of Idaho

University of Idaho students and volunteers have finished a three-week dig in front of Officer’s Row on the site of the historical Fort Boise.

U of I teamed up with the Boise Veterans Administration Medical Center to dig into the site’s history. Anthropology professor Mark Warner says they uncovered a variety of small items, including buttons off uniforms and bullets and shell casings.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The University of Idaho is inviting people to the Boise VA Medical Center to get their hands dirty with history. Students will be digging for the next three weeks on the site of historical Fort Boise and need volunteers to help them out.

art.thewalters.org

A Boise State University professor is trying to solve a historical mystery.

Darryl Butt is trying to figure out who was buried in an Egyptian sarcophagus.  Butt, however, is not an archeologist or historian. He’s a materials scientist and associate director of Idaho’s Center for Advanced Energy Studies. He mostly works with nuclear fuels. Butt says his involvement started with a chance meeting with someone from the Walters Museum in Maryland.

Zeke Robinson

Federal officials along with a southern Idaho Boy Scout troop have started restoration efforts on a section of the Oregon Trail plundered by artifact hunters this summer.

Last week, scouts working with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management began restoration work on stretches of the historic trail near Burley.

Earlier this year, BLM investigators began looking into the removal of artifacts protected by the Archaeological Resource Protection Act. The Times-News reports the law carries prison time and fines even for first-time offenders.

Zeke Robinson

The Oregon Trail passed through Idaho for hundreds of miles 150 years ago. In some places you can still see the ruts from the wagons that brought people west.

Last week archaeologist Suzann Henrikson drove a local historian and a local Boy Scout leader out to see a well-preserved part of the trail near the Snake River. Henrikson works for the Bureau of Land Management in Burley. She and her guests found something unexpected.

“Hundreds and hundreds of holes dug directly in the corridor of the trail, the ruts themselves. It’s just ghastly,” Henrikson says.

An archaeological dig conducted ahead of a northern Idaho highway project has resulted in nearly 600,000 artifacts from the late 1800s to early 1900s found at Sandpoint's original town site.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that officials unveiled some of the artifacts Friday from the dig conducted from 2005 to 2008.

The dig preceded the $100 million U.S. Highway 95 realignment project called the Sand Creek Byway.

An archeological dig in downtown Boise is unearthing scores of artifacts from a 19th century family. What was trash in the past is now treasure for local history lovers.

A group of archeology students and experienced volunteers scratch in the dirt next to one of Boise’s oldest standing buildings. One of them stops, excited by what she’s found. She shows her find to dig director Mark Warner. He’s excited too and wants to see it in the sunlight. They step out of the shade and Warner rubs the dirt off a chunk of glass as long as his thumb and twice as big around.