River Street Project and digging at Glacier

As you’re reading this on 7/11/2014, I’m probably digging a test unit somewhere outside Glacier National Park. I’m actually on assignment this year and will be out of cell/internet range during the day. I’ll be working on an awesome possibly Archaic site along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, so look me up if you’re somehow rolling through Glacier (I’ll be the dirty one digging a hole in the ground looking for rocks).

I’m so happy to be creating a submission for the Day of Archaeology 2014. Just like last year, I made a video covering my recent activities. I spent two weeks in June (2014) conducting archival research and collecting oral histories for the River Street Digital History Project. The River Street Project is dedicated to gathering and digitizing as much information as possible about the River Street Neighborhood, which was Boise’s largest interracial communities. I’m working with the descendant community and historical repositories in Boise. It a collaboration between myself, my advisor at the University of Arizona, and Dr. Jill Gill– History professor at Boise State University. The project has been funded by the Boise City Department of Arts and History and the  Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University. I also received a travel grant to present some of this information at SHA2014 from the  University of Arizona’s School of Anthropology. I can’t tell you how grateful and fortunate I’ve been to receive such support from these many organizations.

The River Street Neighborhood is developing and the historical fabric of the neighborhood has changed drastically. It was home to people of all races and nationalities, but was most famous for the concentration of African American families that lived there until the 1960s. As part of the River Street Project, I will create a website to host and disseminate the collected information. The website will also support videos and short snippets of audio from the oral history interviews. A Google Earth-based walking tour of the neighborhood is also in the mix.

While the website is still under construction, you can check out the latest draft of the project’s first video below:


Research on River Street has revealed a very complex neighborhood where people were accepted for the content of their character rather than their racial affiliation. It was and still is a community that is at the heart of what it means to be an Idahoan.
The website (www.riverstreethistory.com) will go live sometime in September, 2014. If you want to learn more about the project or would like to contribute, email me: bill@succinctresearch.com
Or, you can leave a comment below.
Happy Day of Archaeology!

Day of Archaeology in Southern Arizona

This is a short message from Bill White, a historical archaeologist working out of Tucson. The rest of my week was eventful, but on the actual Day of Archaeology, I took an 8-hour MSHA refresher course. It was the usual– videos of people that didn’t wear their seat belts, fingers that got chopped off in machinery, folks that caught fire in chemical-related accidents, and huge mining haul trucks driving over small pickups. Basically, I was reminded that there are a thousand ways to die at a mine.

Fortunately, I spent the rest of this week out in the field; however, most of that fieldwork was actually driving between project areas and archaeology sites. I made a short YouTube video chronicling my week of archaeology. Check it out:


On Monday and Tuesday, I did a little monitoring near a Hohokam site in Nogales, Arizona. I found myself doing some “emergency” survey work near Kearney, Arizona on Wednesday and Thursday. The survey resulted in the discovery of a huge Archaic period site along the Gila River that also had a significant historical component. The historical features were part of a previously recorded townsite and were primarily comprised of mining camps, mine shafts, test pits, open cuts, and a huge assemblage of early twentieth century artifacts.

The weather down here sucked. It was at least 100 degrees by 10:30 AM. Every afternoon it rained, so the humidity hovered around 70% all morning and didn’t let up until we got drenched by summer rains around 3:00 PM— just in time to hop in the truck and head back home. I hate to say it, but I think I’m almost used to the summers down here.

The thrill of discovery is what kept me going through it all. I love finding sites that, somehow, nobody else has identified. It’s almost as if they didn’t exist without my noticing them– kinda like physicists are trying to prove through recent quantum theories of time and space. Events and things do not exist without an observer… Maybe the sun has finally boiled my mind.

Anyway, I also posted about my travels and travails this week on my blog.

I’m also having a sale on my most recent eBook “Resume-Writing for Archaeologists” for the Day of Archaeology. You can download the book on the Amazon Kindle bookstore for free from July 26 until July 30, 2013. GO TO AMAZON AND DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE EBOOK RIGHT AWAY. If you’ve already bought the eBook, I’m sorry you missed out on the sale. Email me and you can get a free copy of my next eBook (bill@succinctresearch.com).

Take care and happy Day of Archaeology.