SOU Archeologists Return to Fort Lane

Public Archeology Day is July 7 at Site (and there’s now a video from the dig)

(Ashland, Ore) The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA), in collaboration with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), continues archaeological investigations at Fort Lane this summer, and is inviting the public to see the site. The archaeological excavation will be open to the public Saturday, July 7, from 10:00 am through 2:00 pm.

Fort Lane, a U.S. Army post occupied from 1853-1856 that was used during the Rogue River Wars was built shortly after the signing of the Rogue River or Table Rock Treaty that ceded title of the Rogue Valley to the U.S. and established the Table Rock Indian Reservation. The fort served to protect residents of the reservation, and acted as a buffer between the tribes and increasing number of settlers to southern Oregon. 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 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.

SOULA’s 2012 archaeological work at Fort Lane will focus on an excavation of one of the enlisted men’s barracks to determine what remains of this structure and recover items of daily life that will help archaeologist’s understand the lives of men as they negotiated the complex reality of the western Frontier. This work will complement last fall’s excavations of one of the officer’s quarters.

“The Fort Lane public archaeology day provides the public an opportunity to learn about the importance of protecting Oregon’s archaeological sites and some of the aspects of archaeological fieldwork,” says SOULA Archaeologist and SOU Professor Mark Tveskov. “Visitors will be able to speak with archaeologists and OPRD staff about the excavations, view uncovered artifacts, learn how they are cared for, and how archaeological sites are treated, interpreted, and preserved for the public good.”

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: Saturday, July 7, 2011

Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

About Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology conducts archaeological research throughout southwest Oregon. Our work in the field and in the lab allows students to gain practicum experience towards the anthropology major and the Cultural Resource Management certificate. Consequently there is an applied orientation to our work, and each project is conducted in collaboration with federal and local agencies and Indian Tribes. We currently have ongoing research projects with the Coquille Indian Tribe, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Medford District Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon State Parks, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Jackson County, and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.

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