Monday, October 09, 2006

Archaeologists often find treasures in ashes left by wildfires
Forest Service archaeologists have found more than 318,000 historic sites in federal parkland. Thousands more have been unearthed by workers in state parks.

Still, the search goes on, with experts in fire-prone areas from California to Arkansas often relying on wildfires to clear dense underbrush and reveal the remnants of villages and campgrounds.

"Fires are a double-edged sword," said Richard Fitzgerald, an archaeologist for California state parks. "They can be very destructive, but after a big fire you can find new sites, even in areas that have been surveyed before."