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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Museum of Anthropology

Veterans preserve history

five people in a room full of archive boxesThe cool, high-ceiling basement room in College Hall is furnished in Spartan fashion. On this summer day it’s library quiet, but not by tradition or rule. It’s the natural product of deep concentration, as the lab’s three curation technicians, all student veterans, work their way through a collection of ancient artifacts.

At a cluster of mismatched tables in the center of the room, senior Chris Sison carefully examines a tray of artifacts, occasionally consulting a set of printed cards or making a note in » More …

Northwest Indians used tobacco long before European contact

David Gang, left, and Shannon Tushingham holding ancient tobacco pipes WSU researchers have determined that Nez Perce Indians grew and smoked tobacco at least 1,200 years ago, long before the arrival of traders and settlers from the eastern United States. Their finding upends a long-held view that indigenous people in this area of the interior Pacific Northwest smoked only kinnikinnick or bearberry before traders brought tobacco starting around 1790.

Shannon Tushingham, a WSU assistant professor and director of its Museum of Anthropology, made the discovery after teaming up with David Gang, a professor in the Institute of Biological Chemistry, to analyze pipes and » More …