Tracking The Extinct Giants Of Oregon

Apr 30, 2018
University of Oregon

Giants once roamed the Earth in our region.  Mammoths and mastodons, elephant-like creatures, were common until humans hunted them to extinction. 

Evidence of their presence can still be found, including mammoth tracks on a dry lake bed in Lake County (Oregon).  University of Oregon paleontologist Gregory Retallack has been investigating the tracks, which indicate mammoths traveling in a group (and one might have been limping). 

Underground History: The Tunnel That Wasn't

Sep 28, 2016
Public Domain/Wikimedia

The driving of a final spike in Ashland in 1887 completed the railroad line running up the West Coast. 

But the project took a few shortcuts along the way, and the evidence of options not taken are still out there.  Like Buck Rock Tunnel near Ashland.  Crews drilled 300 feet into the rock and stopped, in favor of a different tunnel across the valley. 

Buck Rock is the focus of this month's Underground History segment with our resident archaeologists, Chelsea Rose and Mark Tveskov. 

Introducing "Underground History"

Aug 24, 2016
JPR News

Our region is rich in history, much of it hidden just below the surface. 

Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) dig it, in the most literal sense. 

And it's fascinating work... we invited them to join us monthly for a segment we call "Underground History." 

This week, Oregon's assistant state archaeologist joins in; John Pouley made a rare find of a "biface cache" in the Willamette Valley. 

Getting To Know Some Truly Old Humans

Aug 24, 2016
Dr. Mike Baxter/Wikimedia

Imagine becoming an international celebrity, when you're way too old to enjoy it.  Dead, even. 

This is the after-life story of the human fossils Lydia Pyne writes about in her book Seven Skeletons

The title is a reference to the seven most-celebrated and most-traveled fossil sets, including "Piltdown Man" (an actual hoax) and "Lucy."  Pyne tracks the history of each since discovery. 

Unearthing Secrets Of Oregon's Past

Jul 14, 2016
Oregon State Parks

The history of our region is rich in detail, and a crowd of people will get their hands dirty this summer digging into it.  Quite literally.  

  The Geisel Homestead on the Southern Oregon Coast and other sites of hostilities between white settlers and native Americans are the focus of a summer archaeology project by the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA).  

Finding Evidence Of The Lost Maya

May 6, 2016

At the peak of Maya civilization, something like ten million people lived on the Yucutan Peninsula.  Fewer than a million live there now, near the ruins of Maya culture. 

We know of it now, but the whole story of the Maya people was lost for hundreds of years. 

Explorers found it again in the middle of the 19th century, a tale told in William Carlsen's book Jungle of Stone

Digging Into The State Of Jefferson

May 1, 2015
Southern Oregon University

For a place that's not a real state, there sure are a lot of things named "Jefferson." 

Those include an annual meeting to discuss history and archaeology in the mythical state of Jefferson, set for next week (May 7-8). 

Recent and not-so-recent developments and discoveries will be discussed. 

Archaeology On The Big Screen

Nov 11, 2014

We don't all have it in us to dig in the dirt for signs of past life and civilizations. 

But we certainly can watch the people who do. 

And there's ample opportunity to watch, as Ashland's ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum presents a series of archaeology films

New Excitement Over Old Caves

Oct 20, 2014

In a world that applauds the latest and greatest, it's refreshing to see a big celebration over some decidedly old information: humans living in south central Oregon more than 14,000 years ago. 

They left a few bits of evidence of their existence in the Paisley Caves. 

And those caves have now been added to a list of the country's most important places. 

Taking Southern Oregon Archaeology National

Jun 16, 2014
Oregon Public Broadcasting

It's not exactly playing in the dirt, but it's close. 

Archaeology allows its practitioners to spend time literally digging up pieces of our history. 

And Southern Oregon University archaeologist Chelsea Rose is getting noticed for it. 

David Glass/Wikimedia

Much of our history is underfoot, literally. 

Archaeology is all about digging into the ground to find clues to previous inhabitants and previous civilizations. 

Digging Up Jacksonville's Chinese Memories

Oct 4, 2013
Southern Oregon Historical Society 5868

When the precious metals in the streams around Jacksonville (Oregon) began to play out in the mid-19th century, many of the white miners abandoned the search for riches.

And that just created opportunities for Chinese miners, their friends, and other workers.