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Science & Research

Boise Anthropology Dig Looks For History At Fort Boise Site

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.

Mark Warner is a professor of anthropology at the University of Idaho. He says the Veterans Administration plans to build a parking lot in front of what was once “Officer’s Row,” where officers lived at the fort. Warner says federal law requires that the site's cultural history be addressed before building begins. He says U of I is partnering with the VA to discover what might be just below the surface of the site.

The fort was built in 1863 to protect miners and the government’s interests in the gold and silver rush. Now the VA plans to build on the spot and has asked Warner and his students to first turn it into a dig site.

Warner says the three-week dig will be open to the public for tours and hands-on volunteer work.

“There’s an interest in history, there’s an interest in the past, there’s an interest in learning history that you can touch, not learning history just through books,” Warner says.

Volunteers should get in touch with the team and schedule a time to help. To sign-up to volunteer, contact Mark Warner at 208-885-5954 or 208-892-4501 or mwarner@uidaho.edu. Public tours are open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, through August 5.

During three previous digs in Boise, Warner says he had 2,000 visitors to those sites and volunteers from the community put in 3,000 hours of work. 

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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