Archaeologies of Mining and Industry

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2014

Historical archaeologists are in a privileged position to understand the transformative processes integral to the Industrial Revolution. Extraction and production sites as well as the sites that made up living quarters offer a unique vantage point to study the daily realities of working peoples in the past. In this session, presenters will discuss different case studies relating to mining, energy and industry, while also considering future prospects for students interested in Industrial Archaeology.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-7 of 7)

  • Documents (7)

  • Archaeology of a 19th Century Miner’s Boarding House Yard (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brendan Pelto.

    The Clifton site (20KE53), located on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, was the settlement site for the Cliff Mine, the first profitable copper mine in Michigan. Operating throughout the 1850s and 60s, the town of Clifton began to disappear around 1871 when the Boston and Pittsburgh mining company ceased operations and began to lease out the land to individual prospectors. The Industrial Archaeology program at Michigan Technological University has been performing field work...

  • Charcoal Burners on the Pancake Range: Charcoal Production in Eastern Nevada during the late 19th century (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Dayna Giambastiani. Shannon S. Mahoney.

    The success of the mining industry in eastern Nevada during the late nineteenth century was heavily reliant upon regional charcoal production. Charcoal burners (colliers) converted the surrounding pinyon and juniper woodland into fuel for the smelters used to process mined ore. The colliers, who were primarily Italian-Swiss charcoal burners known as Carbonari, strategically located camp and production sites in order to keep up with the continuous demand for charcoal as the wood supply dwindled....

  • From Homespun to Machine Made: the Rise of Women Wage-Earners in the Pennsylvania Anthracite Region (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only V. Camille Westmont.

    Archaeologists from the University of Maryland have been investigating labor history in the towns of Lattimer 1 and Lattimer 2, both located in the anthracite coal region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, men and young boys were frequently employed in the coal industry, while women and girls were employed in the silk and the textile industries, which had moved into the area to bypass the unionization efforts of textile workers in New England. The rise of...

  • Historic Mineral Industries of Georgia: Contexts and Prospects for Archaeology (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brad Botwick.

    Although Georgia is usually viewed as an agricultural state, it contains numerous economically significant minerals, many of which were extracted and/or processed on a large scale. To better understand these industries and their archaeological correlates, and to assist in evaluating their significance, Georgia Department of Transportation sponsored a historical context that described the development of mining and quarrying in the state. Among these industries, crushed stone was important in the...

  • ‘Matters are Very Well Handled There, and No Expense is Spared to Make Them Profitable’: Accokeek Furnace and the Early Iron Industry in Virginia (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joseph Blondino.

    In the summer of 2012, Dovetail Cultural Resource Group conducted Phase II investigations at Accokeek Furnace, an 18th century ironworks in Stafford County, Virginia. While the furnace’s historical claim to fame may be its association with George Washington’s father, Augustine, it was well-known during its heyday as a large, profitable, and well-managed operation producing some of the highest-quality iron of any of the local works. Although the complex around the furnace comprised hundreds of...

  • New Opportunities for Students in Industrial Archaeology and Industrial Heritage (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Timothy James Scarlett.

    Michigan Technological University has established a cluster of interdisciplinary degree programs in Industrial Archaeology (MS) and Industrial Heritage and Archaeology (PhD), pioneering new areas among our partner and allied institutions around the world. Concurrent with a generational turnover of faculty, the university has introduced new degrees programs, including a new collaborative MS in Industrial Archaeology developed in partnership with the AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service To America...

  • Towards an Archaeology of Energy: The Materiality of Heat, Light, and Power in 17th and 18th century Durham, England (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Quentin Lewis. Adrian Green. Thomas Yarrow.

    This paper proposes an archaeology of energy, probing the historical materialities of heat, light, and power. Our modern high carbon world is the result of a series of historical and material processes in which objects, peoples, spaces, and relationships coalesced into regimes of energy. The traces of these regimes are visible in material things and can be investigated archaeologically. We offer up a case study from an epicenter of the transition to a high carbon world: 17th and 18th century...