Purpose of the Idaho Archaeological Society
To unite those interested in the archaeology of Idaho
To promote cooperation between professional and amateur archaeologists
To promote the systematic study of prehistoric and historic archaeological sites in Idaho
To promote public education and professional scholarship relating to Idaho archaeology
Archaeology is the scientific study of the human past through its material remains. As an environmental science that explores past human-environmental interactions, it is uniquely positioned to study long-term culture change. As such, the discipline not only provides a history of the past but a link to contemporary issues of climate change, global warming and resource sustainability.
Archaeology in Idaho
For centuries, thousands of Idaho’s earliest inhabitants hunted and gathered to exist. The remains they left are often in the form of projectile points, knives, scrapers, and other stone tools. More recently, explorers, trappers and miners left their mark on Idaho’s landscape.
What can we learn about the lives of past peoples by the artifacts they left behind? Where did they live, hunt, and fish? What was their environment like? How did they earn a living? If you are interested in these and similar questions, you definitely have an interest in Idaho archaeology.
The Idaho Archaeological Society is dedicated to understanding the past residents of Idaho with the hope that it will be relevant to the present and future.
The Need to Protect
The Idaho Archaeological Society is concerned with the increasing destruction of the archaeological record. People who don’t know what they are doing often do this destruction.
All people have left evidence of their passage. Because artifacts exist in the context in which they are created, they tell a story of how a people lived. Once an artifact is taken from context or a feature is damaged, that knowledge is lost to all of us. An archaeologist is trained to interpret context by examining clues like a detective. Pollen, pottery, insects, soil contents, artifacts and the layers above and below the site are carefully recorded and studied for their contribution to the story the site tells. If you find a site or an artifact, please, leave it in place and report it to authorities.
The Idaho Archaeological Society, founded in 1971, achieves its objective through a series of programs. The society consists of five chapters located throughout the State of Idaho. Organized under the charter of the IAS, each chapter provides a range of programming that includes lectures, seminars, museum visits, and field trips, among other events. In addition, the society hosts an annual conference where Idaho archaeologists present the results of their recent research and supports several publications: a professional journal, the Idaho Archaeologist, and Artifacts, the newsletter of the Idaho Archaeological Society.