Site unseen: Floodwaters buried a treasure trove at Marmes Rockshelter

Archaeologist Brent Hicks peers from the opening of Porcupine Cave, an ancient native site in lower Palouse Canyon, toward the Snake River below. The cave is part of a complex of sites near Marmes Rockshelter in southeastern Washington, where the discovery in the 1960s of human bones dated to 10,000 years created a scramble for preservation before it was flooded by waters from the Lower Monumental Dam, 20 miles downstream. New debate about breaching the dams has renewed interest in archaeological exploration of the Snake River drainage. (Ron Judd/The Seattle Times)
Archaeologist Brent Hicks peers from the opening of Porcupine Cave, an ancient native site in lower Palouse Canyon, toward the Snake River below. The cave is part of a complex of sites near Marmes Rockshelter in southeastern Washington, where the discovery in the 1960s of human bones dated to 10,000 years created a scramble for preservation before it was flooded by waters from the Lower Monumental Dam, 20 miles downstream. (Ron Judd/The Seattle Times)

Intriguing secrets remain along the Palouse River, where water buried significant archaeological artifacts in 1969.