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Oregon archaeological group educates public, promotes activities

June 27, 2016

One of this year’s recipients of an Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards is 65 years old and at that age could be retiring. Instead, the Oregon Archaeological Society is bursting with activity to educate the public about archaeology, advance archaeological knowledge and support the preservation of historic and prehistoric resources.

The society was founded in 1951 as important Native American sites were about to be flooded by The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River.

In the early days, some OAS members were often more interested in amassing personal collections of artifacts. However, in 1974 it adopted a code of ethics by which any member participating in excavation activities for personal gain would be expelled. A year later, it proposed legislation calling for an official state organization to administer site registration and permit process.

Today, it has a wide range of activities. It offers a six-week basic archaeological training, field trips, and speakers at monthly meetings. The speaker in April was the newest appointed member of the Heritage Commission, Chelsea Rose, who talked about her work in Jacksonville.


The OAS has long-term partnerships with federal agencies.

The Society has also entered into long-term partnerships with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service to assist their activities. It publishes scientific reports and a monthly newsletter, and offers scholarships and grants to students, schools, and projects.

It is also participates in Portland State University’s Archaeology Roadshow, the Northwest Anthropological Conference, and other professional meetings.
In recognition of its decades of work educating the public about archaeology, preserving cultural resources, and advancing archaeological knowledge, the Oregon Archaeological Society was presented an Oregon Heritage Excellence Award.

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