Dark Places: Archaeological Investigations of Historic Underground Mines

Author(s): Paul White

Year: 2015


Despite decades of research at historic mines, archaeological forays in North America have seldom extended to investigate underground workplaces. The reasons are understandable: underground mines are hazardous environments, and it is also the case that fewer mines are accessible due to environmental remediation. The current underrepresentation of the underground, however, has limited disciplinary insights into the mining life. This paper draws from a set of pioneering studies that draw attention to the potential of mines to inform about labor conditions. In particular, it is argued that the material evidence from the workplace enables insights into scalar transformations occurring in the industry, cultures of work, and different mechanisms for coping with uncertain environments. Critically, this paper also considers strategies by which future investigations might safely proceed.

Cite this Record

Dark Places: Archaeological Investigations of Historic Underground Mines. Paul White. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433750)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 134