Friday, December 15, 2006

Archaeology booms with oil and gas
The oil and gas boom of the West has also opened vast lands to discoveries by an unlikely group: archaeologists such as Kevin O'Dell.

With crews spaced 100 feet apart, O'Dell and other archaeologists are walking thousands of acres of sagebrush highlands, valleys and hills, and they're achieving a remarkable increase in identification of prehistoric and historic sites - from those of ancient Native Americans to the homesteaders of the last century.

Because the Bush administration is pushing for more energy extraction on federal property, and because laws require cultural resource surveys before any such drilling, private archaeologists are enjoying a boom of their own.