U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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Wilson Butte Cave

A NATIONAL REGISTER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE


 LEAVE NO TRACE

Wilson Butte Cave










Protection of Cultural Resources at Wilson Butte Cave


All of us have a part to play in the preservation of archaeological resources. When you find artifacts on public lands, it’s a reminder that history is all around us. Holding a 2,000 year old arrowhead in the palm of your hand is like a tiny time capsule that takes you back to life before modern technology. It’s a natural reaction to want to keep it, but before you do, think about what you’re taking away.

When archaeologists come upon a site, the style of arrowheads they find can quickly tell them about how old the site is. From careful study of many sites, archaeologists know the ages of most projectile points. While radiocarbon dates can help determine site age, it’s expensive and slow. Not every site has carbon samples that can be dated, so archaeologists rely on points for a quick, easy dating method.

An archaeologist is also interested in the context or placement of artifacts. If a bone needle is found next to a roasting pit, archaeologists can be fairly sure the needle is as old as the radiocarbon date of the roasting pit. When collectors excavate sites, they mix up all the layers of the site. Disturbing a site makes it difficult for archaeologists to determine what was happening at the site and when.

Archaeological sites are a finite resource, which means they won’t last forever. By preserving the sites we have, we can ensure future generations will be able to enjoy the thrill of holding history in the palm of their hand too.

For more information on protection of cultural resources in BLM, visit:
BLM's National Heritage Website Ethics Page and Resources.

 


GO TO THE CAVE
Discoveries
Occupation Period
Who Camped Here
What Was Found
Daily Life

Excavation
History
Age Dating
Meet the Team


PREHISTORIC IDAHO


Climate
Beringia
Out of the Ice Age
Idaho's Past Climate

Migration
The First People
A New Theory
Indian Tribes
Native Legends
Early Sites

Hunting
and Gathering

Major Changes
Tools I
• Tools II
• Ice Caves
 
Gathering Plants
Food / Medicine


EDUCATION

Teacher Pages

LEAVE NO TRACE
Resource Protection

LINKS
More Information




 



 
Last updated: 06-10-2013