Mining Archaeology in the American West
A View from the Silver State
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
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Mining and miners left an enduring legacy in the history and landscape of the American West (Smith 1987; Robbins 1994; Hine and Faragher 2000; Paul 2001; Isenberg 2006). Indigenous peoples mined minerals such as salt and turquoise in the region before the arrival of Europeans in the 1500s. Spanish explorers and settlers searched for the mythical El ...
1. Traveling into Nevada’s Mining Past
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Exploring Nevada’s mining past involves traveling through the historical corridors revealed by documents, landscapes, architecture, and the archaeological record. Each pathway follows an independent source of information that can be combined and used interactively with the others to construct models of the past (Deetz 1988). One source of information, ...
2. The Archaeology of Mining Technology
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Perhaps the most visible features in mining sites today are the remains of mining technology (images 14 and 15). Documentary accounts of mining technologies and sociotechnical systems on western mining frontiers can be found in technical and scientific journals such as the Mining and Scientific Press, the Engineering and Mining Journal, the Information Circulars of the U.S. Bureau of Mines, and ...
3. The Social Archaeology of Mining
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Settlement-systems reflect the spatial arrangement of tools, operations, and social formations as well as the coordination of work within mining-related sociotechnical systems. Such social relations are, in the words of Elizabeth Brumfiel (1992:551), “the composite outcomes of negotiation between positioned social agents pursuing their goals under both ecological ...
4. Conclusions: Understanding Variability and Change on the Mining Frontier
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The mining rushes and subsequent mining created and transformed a series of mining frontiers in Nevada and the American West. They varied in detail but shared many social and cultural patterns that reflected similar environmental adaptations. They exhibited flexible and quickly changing social formations and sociotechnical systems, rapid environmental ...
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Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 108 illustrations, 19 tables, 10 figures
Publication Year: 2010
Series Title: Historical Archaeology of the American W