MORE ON THIS STORY...

Hells Canyon Releases 600-year Nez Percé Artifacts

 

"We know that people have lived in Idaho for at least 130 centuries," said State Archaeologist Dr. Ken Reid. The Nez Percé tribe was the earliest known settlers of this famous canyon, leaving pictographs and petroglyphs along rocks and cliffs, forming a natural historical museum of its own. “"There's an intact outdoor museum really of Idaho's past that survives," said Dr. Reid

 

HELLS CANYON, Idaho – Idaho’s Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America at approximately 8,000 feet, part of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.

 

It encompasses an area of 215,000 acres and over 900 miles of hiking trails. Completely inaccessible by road, one of its isolated remote regions has turned up a cache of Nez Percé textiles that are made of cedar bark---found by a resting hiker seeking a cool spot.

 

Originally discovered in March of 2008, Idaho State Archaeologist Dr. Ken Reid and his team of researchers have been excavating the site…only recently able to date the artifacts to 600-years ago. It is believed that the cache was to weave into a basket or mat, with a Nez Percé woman storing the bundle under the Hells Canyon stones for safekeeping until her return. According to KTVG, "The basket was left there sometime between A.D. 1395 and 1435," said Dr. Reid.

 

According to Before its News, "We know that people have lived in Idaho for at least 130 centuries," said State Archaeologist Dr. Ken Reid. The Nez Percé tribe was the earliest known settlers of this famous canyon, leaving pictographs and petroglyphs along rocks and cliffs, forming a natural historical museum of its own. “"There's an intact outdoor museum really of Idaho's past that survives," said Dr. Reid.

 

A legend of the Nez Percé tribe says that a mythical coyote figure had dug Hells Canyon with a big stick, in order to protect their tribe’s ancestors in the Blue Mountains of Oregon to the Seven Devils gorge in Idaho. The Snake River is a fine blend of richness in Native American myth and geologic wonder, with some of the most spectacular and rugged land on earth.

 

The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest extends from the Blue Mountains and Wallowa Mountains downward to the spectacular Snake River on the Idaho border, covering approximately 2.3 million acres. (USDA) The area provides Grand Canyonstyle rapids, an extensive trail system, pioneer homesteads, Native America pictograph sites, 70-degree water temperature and incredible scenery.

Please reload

© 2009 - 2019 IDAHO ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, INC.

FUNDING: This website update was due in part to the generous funding provided by the Idaho State Historical Society in the form of a Community Assistance Grant.

  • Facebook Basic
  • Twitter Basic

This site is best viewed using Google Chrome.  To download, click here.