On the Trail of America’s First People

Loren Davis
Loren Davis

Along the Oregon coast, in Idaho’s Salmon River canyon and in Baja California, Loren Davis has searched for signs of North America’s earliest inhabitants. His work along the southern Oregon coast has pushed back documented occupation of this area by 1,500 years.

Now, the OSU archaeologist will take a deeper look into the inland and coastal routes used by ancient people to reach the Americas. Davis has been named the executive director of the Keystone Archaeological Research Fund, established through a $1 million gift from Joseph and Ruth Cramer of Denver, Colorado.

The fund will provide research opportunities for students and new equipment for field studies. Davis uses Earth science techniques to identify sites where ancient people could have lived, made stone points or stored food. Recently, his efforts have extended underwater. Last May, he participated in a search for submerged prehistoric sites off the coast of Baja California Sur. He hopes to use similar methods to find early sites off the Oregon coast.

Watch a video of Archeologist Loren Davis at Cape Blanco on the Oregon Coast. Produced for educational use by Joe Cone, Oregon Sea Grant, 2002.

For more information about Loren Davis:

OSU archaeologist to investigate first West Coast humans with $1-million gift, 10-7-08

Ancient Site of Human Activity Found on Oregon Coast, 11-7-02

Support OSU’s archaeological research, contact the OSU Foundation