Community Archaeology at the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp, Park County, Wyoming


Heart Mountain was one of ten confinement camps established by the U.S. government during World War Two to incarcerate Japanese Americans living on the West Coast of the United States. Located in northwest Wyoming, the camp had a peak population of nearly 11,000 incarcerees, making it the third largest settlement in the state at that time. The Park County Historic Preservation Commission recently partnered with the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center to carry out mapping and test excavations at Heart Mountain. The bulk of the labor for the project was provided by some 45 community volunteers who worked a total of 627 hours. An in-kind matching grant procured from the State Historic Preservation Office provided funding to rehabilitate an original barrack at the Interpretive Center. Archaeological work focused on two 95 x 15 meter root cellars at the site. In our week of fieldwork, we managed to create a topographic map of the two root cellars, test excavate one of them, and extensively photograph the vicinity using a drone. The positive feedback from community members will almost certainly lead to further work at the exceptionally rare and nationally-significant historical resource at the Heart Mountain National Historic Landmark.

Cite this Record

Community Archaeology at the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp, Park County, Wyoming. J. Gregory Smith, Lawrence Todd, Brian Liesinger. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430075)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Plains

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14799