The Columbian (Washington)
July 16, 2012
They paved a pair of sites and put up a parking lot. Which turned out to be a pretty good move. When the U.S. Army covered some of its Vancouver Barracks property with gravel and asphalt about 30 years ago, it preserved a lot of below-ground history. Now students have peeled back some of that blacktop and are uncovering the remnants of Hudson’s Bay Company-era homes. “Cool,” described Rozalyn Crews as she examined the side of an excavation on the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Crews was doing a profile — “It’s a technical sketch,” she said — of the trench wall. At this depth, it amounted to a seven-layer sandwich of history, with each deposit representing a different era or a significant event, including a flood in 1894. “The fourth layer is where the Hudson’s Bay Company begins,” said Crews, a graduate of New College of Florida. Crews is here for Fort Vancouver’s annual field school, which provides college students with hands-on experience in archaeology.