Idaho Archaeology


From the dinosaurs who roamed prehistoric Idaho over 100 million years ago, to the Hagerman Horse who galloped across the plains of Idaho 3.5 million years ago during the Pliocene Epoch, to the Native Americans who have inhabited this region for thousands of years—Idaho has a rich and diverse archeological history.  Recent excavations have also uncovered information and relics from the Chinese miners who worked the placer mines of the Boise Basin in the 1800s.   Look inside to find a list of books about Idaho’s past and links to archeology web sites.


  • An Introduction to the Archaeology of Southern Idaho, by Mark G. Plew 917.9603 Plew
  • The Archaeology of the Snake River Plain, by Mark G. Plew  RNW 979.61 Plew
  • Backtracking:  Ancient Art of Southern Idaho, by Max Pavesic and William Studebaker   979.61 Pavisic
    Contains info on petroglyphs and archeological sites of southwestern Idaho.
  • The Catastrophic Late Pleistocene Bonneville Flood in the Snake River Plain Idaho, by Harold E. Malde   GOV DOC I.19.16: 596   Discover the history behind the boulders (known as “melon gravel”) found along the banks of the Snake River near Swan Falls Dam.
  • Equus Evolves: The Story of the Hagerman Horse, by the Hagerman Fossil Council 569.62 Equus E
  • The First Idahoans: A Paleoindian Context for Idaho, by Robert M. Yohe and Jame C. Woods   979.601 Yohe 2002
  • Indian Rock Writing in Idaho, by Richard P. Erwin   RNW 419.2 ER9 LOC
  • Secrets of the Magic Valley and Hagerman’s Remarkable Horse, edited by Todd Shallat   569.62 Secrets
  • Uncovering a Chinese Legacy: Historical Archeology at Centerville, Idaho, Once the “Handsomest Town in the Basin” by Priscilla Wegars   979.674 Wegars
  • The Wees Bar Petroglyph Field, Southwestern Idaho, by Nelle Tobias  RNW 979.601 Tobias 1981


  • Archaeology, The Basics, by Clive Gamble  930.1 Gamble
  • Arrowheads and Stone Artifacts: A Practical Guide for the Amateur Archeologist, By C.G.Yeager  930.1Yeager 2000
  • Atlas of Archaeology, by Mick Aston  OV 930.1 Aston
  • Doorways Through Time: The Romance of Archaeology, by Stephen Bertman 930.1 Bertman
  • Making Faces: Using Forensic and Archeological Evidence, by John Prag 930.101 Prag
  • The Practical Archeologist: How We Know What We Know About the Past, by Jane McIntosh  930.1 McIntos 1999
  • Skeletons in Our Closet: Revealing Our Past Through Bioarchaeology, by Clark S. Larsen 930.1 Larsen
  • Submerged:  Adventures of America’s Most Elite Archeology Team, by Daniel Leniham  930.1028 Leniham                                                                       
  • Time Detectives: How Archaeologists Use Technology to Recapture the Past, by Brian Fagan   930.1 Fagan


  • Affiliated with the Archaeological Institute of America Has links to many different archaeological web sites.
  • Fossil National Monument Learn about Hagerman’s 3.5 million year old horse.
  • Idaho Museum of Natural History Located on the campus of Idaho State University in Pocatello.   Read about their upcoming exhibit entitled “Dinosaur Times in Idaho.”
  • Digital Atlas of Idaho ISU’s great site has extensive info about the prehistory of Idaho, as well as info on Idaho geology, climatology, biology, and geography.

Compiled by Ellen Druckenbrod, Boise Public Library, 7/29/03 jj

Last updated: December 4, 2012 - 10:38am by farrit