Archaeology at Fort Lane State Heritage Site opens to public viewing

Oregon State Parks Shield

The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA), in collaboration with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), will be conducting archaeological investigations at Fort Lane, a U.S. Army post occupied from 1853-1856 that was used during the Rogue River Wars. The site opens to the public on Sunday, November 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Visitors are invited to take the opportunity to learn about the importance of protecting Oregon’s archaeological sites and some of the aspects of archaeological field work. They will have the opportunity to walk around the site and talk with members of the archaeology team and OPRD staff, view uncovered artifacts, learn how they are cared for and how archaeological sites are treated with minimal impact to the environment.Fort Lane was built in 1853, shortly after the signing of the Table Rock Treaty, which ceded title of the Rogue Valley to the U.S. and established the Table Rock Indian Reservation. The fort served to protect reservation residents and acted as a buffer between the area’s tribes and increasing number of southern Oregon settlers. Despite efforts to keep the peace, fighting continued. At the end of the Rogue River Wars (1856), the tribes of the Rogue and Illinois valleys were marched to the Grand Ronde encampment, and in 1857, the majority were taken to Upper Farm on the Siletz Indian Reservation, while 58 men and their families remained at what then became the Grand Ronde Reservation. After the close of the war, Fort Lane was discontinued.

November’s archaeological work at Fort Lane focuses on an extensive excavation of one of the officer’s quarters to determine what remains of this structure and recover items of daily life that will help us understand the lives of men as they negotiated the complex reality of the western frontier. Southern Oregon University staff and students will be conducting the excavations under a permit, and we will be collaborating once again with community volunteers from the Southern Oregon Historical Society (SOHS).

Please note that parking at the site will be limited. Car-pooling would be helpful.

What: Fort Lane Public Archaeology Day

Where: Fort Lane State Heritage Site, Gold Ray Road, Central Point, OR  97502

When: Sunday, November 13, 2011

Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

 

MEDIA CONTACT: 
Vicki Sink
503-873-8681 ext. 21, vicki.sink@state.or.us

or

Chelsea Rose – Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology
541-261-3087

Mark Tveskov – Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology
541-552-6345