Summer of Archaeology at Fort Vancouver

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Setting up surveying equipment to set up a dig at the site of the 1854 Army flagstaff at Vancouver Barracks
Graduate student Emily Taber and Doug Wilson, National Park Service archaeologist, use surveying equipment to set up a dig at the site of the 1854 Army flagstaff at Vancouver Barracks. (Greg Wahl-Stephens)

The spot that signified America’s presence in the Northwest 160 years ago will highlight the 2014 “Summer of Archaeology” at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

This year’s field school projects will include the site of the old U.S. Army post’s flagstaff, just south of Officers Row.

“It was the symbol of not only the post, but of the larger American expansion,” said Beth Horton, a National Park Service archaeologist at Fort Vancouver.

The annual field school gives graduate students at Washington State University Vancouver and Portland State University hands-on experience at actual digs while expanding Vancouver’s archaeological record.

Researchers were able to use old maps to locate the flagstaff, said Doug Wilson, the lead archaeologist at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. And, last summer’s work included an above-ground survey with a magnetic gradiometer, which can read changes in the soil.

Fort Vancouver also is scheduling summer archaeology programs for the community, including “Kids Digs,” a lecture series and two museum open houses.

Read More: Summer of Archaeology at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

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