In 2002, the Welsh city of Newport was rocked by the discovery of a wooden ship buried in more than 20 feet of mud along the river Usk. Contractors had been digging a foundation for a new arts center when they struck solid oak timbers. A plan to dispose of the wood and get on with the construction project met with public protests and vigils, says Oregon State University alumnus Toby Jones.
In the lower Salmon River canyon of Idaho, Loren Davis and his students are uncovering clues to the human story of North America. “The world was so dramatically different at that time,” Davis says. “There were ice sheets and giant lakes, and sea level was much lower. You have to have a geological outlook to make sense of a lot of it.”
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.