Ancient Sites 2014 - Passport in Time

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Ancient Sites in the Modern Office V

Malheur National Forest - Emigrant Ranger District, Oregon, 2014
by Pete Cadena, District Archaeologist

Last week we hosted a Passport in Time (PIT) project at the SO. The project, Ancient Sites in the Modern Office V, brought volunteers from Washington (Seattle, Tacoma, Snohomish), Oregon (Portland and Jacksonville), California (Oakland), and New Mexico (Albuquerque). In addition, we had three volunteers from the Umatilla Tribe. We had several returning volunteers and volunteers new to the Malheur.
These amazing individuals volunteered a grand total of 424 hours. They spent the week carefully and meticulously examining thousands of lithic flakes (debitage) and identifying stone tools. The information gathered by the volunteers will be used for many years. Immediately, the information will be used in a heritage inventory report currently being completed. In addition, it will provide solid preliminary data that can be used for future research.
Field trips were also scheduled throughout the week. Forest Archaeologist, Don Hann lead a field trip to Picture Gorge and provide information about the site based on his research. The group also had the opportunity to visit the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site. The volunteers were happy to gain a greater understanding of heritage in the area.
Overall, last week’s PIT project was extremely successful because (1) we recovered good useful data from artifacts collected last summer (2) we were able demonstrate the value of all cultural material and (3) people had the opportunity to learn new skills.
I just wanted to share this volunteer response on the PIT critique form:
I enjoyed everything about this PIT experience:  I acquired new skills and experiences, shared them with interesting people, and felt that I was contributing some value to an important Forest Service project.  While difficult to choose the “best” part of the experience, I think what will stay with me is the much greater understanding and appreciation I gained of how stone tools were made.
I want to thank everyone who came by to visit throughout the week. Also, I want to give a special thank you to Don Hann for leading the Picture Gorge field trip and Diane Browning for all her help last week.
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