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Archaeological dig at North Idaho College aims to unearth ‘invisible histories’ of Fort Sherman

by Greg Mason - June 19, 2021

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There was a point Monday when student archaeologists unearthed what looked like a shattered piece of wood from a hole several feet deep on the North Idaho College campus in Coeur d’Alene.

The find occurred at the tail end of a two-week historical excavation at sites that were once part of Fort Sherman, a U.S. Army stronghold established in the late 1800s. As part of an archaeology field school through the University of Idaho, the dig – organized through a collaboration between UI, North Idaho College and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe – involved students from five colleges and universities.

“Fort Sherman is an ideal location to explore identity construction and negotiation in spaces of cultural meeting,” said Katrina Eichner, an assistant professor of anthropology at UI. “It’s our hope that materials discovered here will allow for more diverse and nuanced understanding of the past.”