Public Archaeology at The Crest at Willow-Witt

Sunday June 16th - Tuesday June 18th 10am-5pm

Come to Willow-Witt Ranch any of these days from 10 am -5 pm to see and participate in a professional archaeological excavation at the ranch! There has been documentation of the extensive history of human occupation at the ranch since the 1970s, but this is the first time real research will take place. Alongside the excavation, there will be a display with examples of artifacts and hands on materials (including an example atlatl to throw) which will highlight the history of human occupation in our valley and southwestern Oregon. This valley falls within the traditional homeland of the Upland Takelma, and the region was also home to the Lowland Takelma, the Shasta, and the Athapaskan peoples. People have lived here since before the Mt. Mazama eruption, over 8000 years ago. This public event is designed to introduce participants to the importance of cultural resources stewardship and to provide an educational experience building insight into regional American Indian cultural heritage, the natural and cultural history of southern Oregon and the reciprocal relationship between humans and the natural world. Archaeological fieldwork will be led and monitored by trained archaeological staff that meets the Secretary of Interior’s standards, and this project was consulted on with Oregon SHPO and Tribes with a traditional homeland here.

Location: The event is located on the 445-acre Willow-Witt Ranch outside of Ashland, Oregon, in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. Landowners Suzanne Willow and Lanita Witt have worked more than 30 years to restore forests and wetlands while maintaining a small certified organic farm and ranch. The location is at 5000’ elevation and has cool evenings and mornings, with an average June daytime high in the 70s. Mosquitos are scarce, birds abundant, and there is no poison oak.

Participation: All ages are welcome. Participation spaces will be limited based on the number of people; if there are too many we will have to restrict access. To assist with the screening of excavated soil for artifacts, participants will want to bring boots, clothes that they can get dirty, and gloves. No artifacts or rocks may be removed from the site. We will have salad lunch, snacks and fruit for sale, and great water (do not bring bottled water) or feel free to bring your own. Please RSVP below if you plan on coming so we know how many people to expect.