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Exploring Buried Buxton

Archaeology of an Abandoned Iowa Coal Mining Town with a Large Black Population

David M. Gradwohl, Nancy M. Osborn

Publication Year: 1990

Few sources before have dealt with the archaeology of African American settlements outside the Atlantic seaboard and the southern states. This book describes in detail the archaeological investigations conducted at the town site of Buxton, Iowa, a coal mining community inhabited by a significantly large population of blacks between 1900 and 1925.

David Gradwohl and Nancy Osborn present the archaeology of Buxton from “the group up” to articulate the material remains with the data acquired from archival studies and oral history interviews. They also examine the broader significance of the Buxton experience in terms of those who lived there and their children and grandchildren who have heard about Buxton all their lives.

Published by: University of Iowa Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xii

MOST PEOPLE have stereotypes about archaeology. They perhaps have heard about the "romance of archaeology" and have chuckled at cartoons showing pith-helmeted scientists going to faraway places to find treasures in Mesopotamia,...

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pp. xiii-xvi

THE recent Buxton project was undertaken by an interdisciplinary group of researchers at Iowa State University. That group worked in cooperation with members of the Buxton, Iowa Club...

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1: Introduction

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pp. 2-7

BUXTON, IOWA, was a coal mining town that existed in Monroe County throughout the first quarter of the twentieth century (see Fig. 1). This town was established in 1900 by the...

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2: Scone and schedule

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pp. 8-16

AN initial task of the archaeologists involved perusing published accounts of Buxton in various regional journals, issues of the Iowa State Bystander, and other newspapers. Equally important was the inspection of photographs

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3: Buxton's setting: geography,economic geology, and town Dlanning

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pp. 17-24

LOCATED along Bluff Creek in northern Monroe County, Buxton was situated physiographically in the Southern Iowa Drift Plain landform region (Prior 1976~45-48). The topography of this region consists of steeply rolling hills...

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4: Archaeological reconnaissance survey of the townsite

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pp. 25-56

THE surface survey of the Buxton townsite followed procedures previously employed by ISU Archaeological Laboratory personnel in the Saylorville Reservoir project (Gradwohl and Osborn 1973:15-19) and the Ames...

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5: Test excavations and investigation of former buildings

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pp. 57-122

SUBSURFACE archaeological investigations were concentrated in three loci in the north-central portion of the Buxton townsite. First was the former downtown, or main business-commercial district (see Fig. 40). Although informants...

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6: Portable artifacts from the townsite

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pp. 123-164

ONE GOAL of the archaeological investigations at Buxton was to ascertain something of the quantity and quality of artifacts at the townsite. As discussed previously, the sampling methods by which portable artifacts...

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7: Social and cultural patterns from an archaeological perspective

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pp. 165-185

ARCHAEOLOGICAL evidence can shed light on various social and cultural patterns of the past. In general, it has been said that the following cultural activities represent ascending levels of difficulty in reconstructing...

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8: Buxton

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pp. 186-195

As an archaeological unit the Buxton townsite (13M010) is rich in historical context and material manifestations. The downtown area of Buxton, for the archaeologist, has abundant structural remains relating to the commerce of the town. as well as to the industrial...

References cited

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pp. 196-200


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pp. 201-207

E-ISBN-13: 9781587296659
E-ISBN-10: 1587296659
Print-ISBN-13: 9781587295744
Print-ISBN-10: 1587295741

Page Count: 223
Publication Year: 1990

Edition: 1