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The River Basin Surveys: Studying Twentieth Century Archaeological Investigations and their Nineteenth Century Subjects

Author(s): Lotte E Govaerts

Year: 2017

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Summary

The 1803 Louisiana Purchase included most of the present-day states of North and South Dakota. I study the US colonization of this area, particularly the Upper Missouri Basin. During the mid-twentieth century the Smithsonian’s River Basin Surveys (RBS) program investigated several nineteenth century historic sites associated with the earliest US presence in the area including fur trade posts, US military and government establishments, and sites associated with US settlement. I study RBS collections related to these sites, as well as the RBS program itself and the dam-building projects that precipitated this large-scale archaeological salvage effort. I have found that many analogous social processes similarly influenced colonization of the Upper Missouri Basin in the nineteenth century and its later development in the twentieth century. Moreover, these influences also impacted the twentieth century study of early settlement in the region. 


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The River Basin Surveys: Studying Twentieth Century Archaeological Investigations and their Nineteenth Century Subjects. Lotte E Govaerts. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435521)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 655

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