by Sasa Woodruff, Boise State Public Radio News
Source article can be found at https://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/news/2022-12-28/carbon-dating-shows-humans-living-in-idaho-2500-years-earlier-than-previously-thought
Oregon State University archeological professor Loren Davis has been working on the Cooper’s Ferry site for 25 years. The excavation area is currently owned by the federal Bureau of Land Management, but is on traditional Nez Perce land that the tribe says is where the ancient village of Nipéhe stood.
The area is in western Idaho on the Salmon River, close to where Oregon, Idaho and Washington meet.
Davis said the point spears carved from different rocks into the shapes of Christmas trees were likely attached to a wooden handle used to kill animals. The spears were found in two pits about 25 feet below the Earth’s surface.
“The Cooper's Ferry site is significant because it's very early evidence and it shows us detailed information about things like the technologies that these early peoples were using,” Davis said.
Davis said the area shows humans were cooking and making tools.
“We find a lot of bone fragments of animals. We find charcoal; We find pieces of fire-cracked rocks,” he said. “So probably what we're seeing is that someone had set up a camp at the site. And we're just finding some aspects of the things that they left behind.”