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Curious: Digging Deep Into Oregon's Past

University of Oregon cave explorers in the Oregon high desert.
Richard Zeller
University of Oregon
University of Oregon cave explorers in the Oregon high desert.

In theory, highway projects look easy: move the trees and rocks, flatten the land, and pave. But any digging can reveal clues to Oregon's remote past, and that's where Tom Connolly and his team come in.

Connolly heads the archaeological research arm at the University of Oregon's Museum of Natural and Cultural History. The team frequently is called out to check out sites of road work to make sure no artifacts of the past are destroyed.

Connolly also recently was part of a team publishing further research on Oregon's Paisley Caves, which bear evidence of human presence more than 14,000 years ago, long before the Clovis people once regarded as the continent's first culture.

We pick Dr. Connolly's brain in this month's edition of Curious: Research Meets Radio, our joint venture with UO.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.