Using GIS and Lidar to Re-imagine Historic Immigrant Chinese Placer Mining Landscapes

Author(s): don hann

Year: 2016


The Kam Wah Chung building is a National Historic Landmark with a trove of artifacts and documents recovered from the historic "Chinatown" in John Day, Oregon. Interpretation of the site has been hampered by loss of associated immigrant Chinese gold mining remains due to later development. Recent work in the neighboring Malheur National Forest has identified an extensive placer mining complex with associated Chinese artifacts and features. The mining complex was located using lidar and GIS modeling coupled with field inspection. Lidar based mapping has proven useful in documenting the techniques used by Chinese miners to recover gold from shallow deposits over extensive areas. A partnership has been formed between the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Archaeology and the Forest Service to share resources to study and interpret the broader patterns of immigrant Chinese mining and associated sites in Oregon. 

Cite this Record

Using GIS and Lidar to Re-imagine Historic Immigrant Chinese Placer Mining Landscapes. don hann. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434344)


Chinese LiDAR Mining

Geographic Keywords
North America United States of America

Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 858