Ongoing Projects

Teton Archaeology Project-

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Soapstone bowl found in the high Teton Range, Wyoming

During the past decade, researchers have discovered a surprisingly rich prehistoric archaeological record at high-elevations in the Wind River and Absaroka Mountains. These discoveries have led to an increased academic interest in prehistoric alpine adaptations on a local, national, and international level. The majority of this work has focused on the Eastern side of the continental divide and very little has been accomplished in the mountains on the Western edge of Wyoming. As such, the JHAI seeks to further the archaeological knowledge of the Teton region and to promote community involvement and education of the archaeological sciences.

The Teton Archaeological Project (TAP) is a five year endeavor that aims to increase our knowledge of the prehistoric Tetons through survey, excavation, and programming. During the 2014 inaugural season, the TAP team identified 28 new archaeological sites.  Finds dated from the paleoindian period to late prehistoric and included particularly exciting discoveries such as an intact soapstone bowl, a probable prehistoric village, and the first recorded ceramic pottery in the Teton Range. Findings will be presented at the Society for American Archaeology conference in April 2015.


Excavations at the Linn Site-

The Linn Site, located near Victor, Idaho represents over 10,000 years of history in the Teton Valley and Snake River Plain. The JHAI is excited to collaborate with the Linn Canyon Ranch to excavate the site and use the location as a teaching resource for both public and student programming in the Victor, Driggs, and Jackson Hole regions. Preliminary work at the Linn Site will begin in the Fall of 2014 with initial testing and mapping of known archaeological material.

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Jackson Hole Middle School students excavate a 1×1 unit at the Linn Site, Idaho.


  GYE Community Archaeology Project-

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Recording an eroding fire hearth with campers at Teton Valley Ranch, Wyoming.

The Greater Yellowstone Community Archaeology Project seeks to work with private landowners who have archaeological sites on their property. Oftentimes, because they are not included in federal surveys, archaeological sites on private land go unreported or even unnoticed. This community archaeological project, supported by the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, seeks to help landowners identify archaeological sites on their property, develop strategies for preservation/protection, and to incorporate the information into ongoing professional archaeological research and educational programming. To date, in collaboration with Teton Valley Ranch Camp and the Teton Science Schools, we have recorded 6 archaeological sites with the help of student volunteers.