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When the Small, Local Archaeology Project Goes Global – The Missoula Historic Underground Project

Author(s): Nikki Manning

Year: 2016

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During the fall of 2012 a local, urban archaeological survey project was conducted to see what evidence remained of the Missoula, Montana historic “underground” landscape. Now heading into the fourth year of research and expanding geographically into other cities of the American West, the project which actually began from public inquiries into the existence of a small town underground continues to hold the interest of the local community and beyond. As the project has continued to grow in scope and interest, and a book published based on the initial research has reached a small but global audience, measurable educational results are more difficult to evaluate, especially with the use of social media and other internet tools. This is challenging not only in terms of tracking successful use of digital technology for educational outreach but also the responsible dissemination of information about a topic that captures imagination and struggles against myths and urban legends - in this case, an archaeology project dedicated to providing systematic, fact-based documentation that aids in understanding how the historic political and social climate of developing urban areas may have affected the creation and use of space and the built environment.

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When the Small, Local Archaeology Project Goes Global – The Missoula Historic Underground Project. Nikki Manning. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403868)


Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America