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The Birch Creek Rockshelters were excavated in 1960 and 1961 by students and staff from Idaho State University under the direction of Professor Earl H. Swanson, Jr. The stated objective of the excavations was to explore the time depth of the Northern Shoshone occupation of the Snake River Plain and the adjacent mountains. A report documenting the excavations and analyses was published in 1972 by Earl Swanson entitled Birch Creek: Human Ecology in the Cool Desert of the Northern Rocky Mountains 9,000 B.C. – A.D. 1850 by the Idaho State University Press funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.