Bryan K. Hanks

September 30, 2016 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm

UHC Friday Faculty Lecture

Sponsored by the University Honors College

Bryan Hanks

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

Using non-invasive methods to study Native American pit-house villages in Idaho's River of No Return Wilderness

Friday, September 30th, 2pm, Cathedral of Learning Room 0208-B


The Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness (2.367 million acres) is the second largest federally managed wilderness in the United States. Numerous prehistoric and historic archaeological sites have been identified and management of these resources today represents a delicate balance between Native American interests, federally mandated policies for cultural heritage protection, and access to the wilderness for recreation by the public. Of pressing concern today is the potential impact to early Native American sites due to the high level of commercial rafting that takes place on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The Middle Fork is considered to be one of the finest white water rafting areas in the United States and rafting is only allowed through a lottery drawing and permit system. Based on the current number of permits allowed, 10,000 people float the river and camp within designated areas along the river each year. Unfortunately, due to the topographical nature of the river valley, these camp zones occur specifically within areas known to contain early Native American pit-house villages. U.S. Park and Forest Service archaeologists and rangers monitor these activities carefully, however, the actual spatial extent of many of the prehistoric villages is unknown and therefore the impact to these sites is not completely understood. In most cases, archaeological excavation of prehistoric sites is not possible and the development of new methods of remote sensing using geophysical and geochemical surveys have been developed in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh. Preliminary results of this research over the past three seasons will be presented and discussed in the context of the characterization of these early villages and the mitigation of further impact to cultural resources.

** All are Welcome! ** Light refreshments will be served **

Location and Address

Room 0208-B Cathedral of Learning