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Science & Research

Archeological Dig At VA Medical Center Uncovers Boise's History

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University of Idaho
This toy gun was found during a metal detector survey at the site. Several children's toys were found.

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.

They also found toys, including a toy gun, a metal airplane and a figurine of a person on a horse.

Warner says he’s happy with their finds and the public turnout.

“People are interested and this means you can make history tangible,” Warner says.

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Credit University of Idaho
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University of Idaho
U of I students Rachel Falzon and Emma Scott find a nail at the old Fort Boise site.

At least 85 community volunteers put in hundreds of hours of labor at the dig. And more than 300 visitors came out to explore Boise’s history.

“It’s a great way to recapture Boise’s heritage,” he says.

The items are in Moscow for processing. They belong to the VA, which hopes to put them on display at the Boise Medical Center in the future.

The VA had to explore the site’s cultural history before it could build on the land. The plan is to eventually build a multi-floor parking garage on the site to provide more parking for veterans seeking medical care.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio

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