PULLMAN, Wash. — The Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with Northwest tribes, has selected the Museum of Anthropology at WSU to rehabilitate archaeological collections from the McNary Reservoir.

The collections were unearthed by federal agencies during the building of dams and other federal projects decades ago and have been boxed and stored since then. The reservoir is located at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers.

To complete the project of cataloging the artifacts, the museum will receive $98,883. The funding is provided through the Payos Kuus Cuukwe Cooperating Group whose members include representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bonneville Power Administration, and the Yakama, Colville, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Nez Perce Tribes and the Wanapum people.

“These grants allows us to come in, catalog and computerize the findings so anyone who needs the information, including the tribes, can easily get the information,” says Bill Andrefsky, chair of WSU’s Department of Anthropology. “The project will result in bringing many older collections, beginning with those made during the 1940s Smithsonian River Basin Surveys, up to modern curation standards and greatly improving access to the collections for research, teaching and traditional cultural uses.”

The work also provides an important learning opportunity, as well as summer employment, for a number of undergraduate and graduate students who will be participating in the project, he added.