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Reporter's Notebook: Snooping Around the River Street Archaeological Dig

​At 10 minutes to noon, University of Idaho Associate Professor of Anthropology Mark Warner walked

from dig site to dig site at the urban archaeological dig taking place near the Hayman House on River Street in downtown Boise. The six participating students would have to clear debris and tools from the square meter excavation areas before they could sit and eat under a white shade tent.

In their first day at the site, students had already uncovered what may be foundation stones for an outbuilding in the Hayman House's yard, and sieves had been erected in an adjacent lot where students sorted through buckets of rubble for artifacts. Warner and the students are looking for evidence of day-to-day life—the bones of animals eaten, ashes from fire pits, even human waste from outdoor toilets—that will expand knowledge and awareness about Boise's early history from the standpoint of what Warner described as a neighborhood "where the relatively disenfranchised were living."

"The history is here in Boise, and there's history beneath your feet that people just don't think about. It's history that's largely forgotten," he said.