Work, Workers, and Workplaces in the Anthropocene: Insights on the Modern World from Industrial, Historical, and Contemporary Archaeology

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  • 21st-century Collaboration for Studying a 20th-century Working Community (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Frederick E. Sutherland.

    This paper explores the social and economic effects on working communities in a former iron mining district in central Minnesota. Scholars and community members collaborated to document multiple standing structures of historic significance and hold discussions on how those sites could be preserved and featured in future cultural tourism plans. The narratives generated from the collaboration were strengthened by overlapping thematic categories used in multi-sited archaeology.

  • Above-ground Archaeology Of Industrial And Post-Industrial Detroit (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Amanda Sosnowski. Suzanne Spencer-Wood.

    A survey of Detroit’s ruins reveals the spread of industrial decline among all kinds of sites, and the post-industrial transformation of urban landscapes. Maps show the spread of abandonment from factories to other businesses, transportation sites, and residential areas, including schools and police stations. Photos of abandoned buildings show the processes of decay and ruination, from vandalism to the weather. What can Detroit teach archaeologists about the interpretation of material evidence...

  • Chemists to Cowboys: Labour Identity in Corporate Agriculture in the San Emigdio Hills, California (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Melonie R Shier.

    In California at the turn of the 20th Century, large companies formed through lands speculation as a result of the land grant system and the dissolution of mission properties. The Kern County Land Company, based in Kern County California, had over 1.1 million acres across the American West, utilizing a varied labour force with the primary agriculture product of cattle. The varied properties were interlinked and employed a plethora of workers from chemists to cowboys. This paper aims to...

  • Como la paja del páramo: Everyday Traditions on the Hacienda Guachalá, Ecuador (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Zev A Cossin.

    The post-independence period (post-1830) of Ecuador and Latin America presented profound socio-political transformations, catalyzing intense debate over the meaning of citizenship and equality for marginalized indigenous populations. Many of these changes manifested on agricultural estates known as haciendas, which often became spaces of direct political actions such as uprisings led by female indigenous activists Dolores Cacuango and Tránsito Amanguaña in the Cayambe area of Ecuador. These...

  • The Company’s Feast: Commensality And Managerial Capitalism (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jenn Ogborne.

    In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries many mining companies in the American West provided their employees with housing and boarding arrangements, even recreational green spaces and company-sponsored festivities on holidays. Daily meals offered by some mining companies were a part of larger managerial capitalist policies common during this period. These meals placed the necessity of eating under a company roof and at a company table with foods purchased with company funds. The town...

  • Don’t Let it Die: Reinvestigating the 1948 Donora Smog Tragedy through an Archaeological Approach (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Timothy A Kotlensky.

    In October 1948, 19 residents of the Pennsylvania town of Donora died due to industrial air pollution. Another fifty residents would die over the following weeks and several hundred more would battle lung ailments for the remainder of their lives. This particular air pollution – a combination of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and fluorine – originated from a smelting plant situated within U.S. Steel’s Donora Zinc Works that made zinc used in galvanizing steel wire products. This paper aims to...

  • Labor Heritage at the Homestead Waterfront (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maura A Bainbridge.

    This paper explores the memory of the Battle of Homestead at the Waterfront shopping center and other related sites throughout Pittsburgh. Through interviews, site visits, and guided tours, I compare the approaches to this memory by various involved groups, such as developers, artists and community organizations. My analysis employs an archaeology of supermodernity to consider the authorized heritage discourse surrounding the Battle of Homestead as it relates to sites of labor struggle in the...

  • Land, Lumber and Labor (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Aaron Howe. LouAnn Wurst.

    Coalwood, a cordwood camp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, provides an ideal setting to talk about internally related aspects of capitalist production from the vantage points of land, lumber, and labor.  The cordwood produced at Coalwood from 1900-1912 was used to fuel pig iron furnaces owned by the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company. Comparison of company reports, censuses, and local historical information suggest a dramatic change in the organization of production at Coalwood that coincides with the...

  • The Pitch Tar Mills in the Gulf of Bothnia’s Early Modern Coastal Towns, Northern Finland (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Marika Hyttinen. Titta Kallio-Seppä.

    During the 18th and early 19th centuries, every coastal town in northern Finland’s Gulf of Bothnia had their own pitch tar mills. The pitch was produced from boiling tar and used as creosote to make wooden sailing ships watertight. The global need for pitch and tar made these products an important export product for early modern Swedish trade. The pitch tar mills were often located near towns on the mainland’s coast or on offshore islands nearby. Since 1640 in the town of Oulu, for instance, the...

  • Wood Work: Excavating the Wilderness Economy of New York’s Adirondack Mountains (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Hadley F. Kruczek-Aaron.

    At the end of the 19th century, New York's legislature responded to the clarion call of conservationists concerned for the state's diminishing timber resources and threatened watershed by creating the Adirondack Forest Preserve, which kept millions of acres of public land in northern New York "forever wild." At the same time, the Adirondack logging industry witnessed tremendous growth on account of expanded railroad networks and paper industry innovations that opened up new areas of private land...