University of Nebraska Press

Historical Archaeology of the American West Series

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Historical Archaeology of the American West Series

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Mining Archaeology in the American West

A View from the Silver State

Donald L. Hardesty

Mining played a prominent role in the shaping and settling of the American West in the nineteenth century. Following the discovery of the famous Comstock Lode in Nevada in 1859, mining became increasingly industrialized, changing mining technology, society, and culture throughout the world. In the wake of these changes Nevada became an important mining region, with new people and technologies further altering the ways mining was pursued and miners interacted. Historical archaeology offers a research strategy for understanding mining and miners that integrates three independent sources of information about the past: physical remains, documents, and oral testimony. Mining Archaeology in the American West explores mining culture and practices through the microcosm of Nevada’s mining frontier. The history of mining technology, the social and cultural history of miners and mining societies, and the landscapes and environments of mining are topics examined in this multifocus research. In this updated and expanded edition of the seminal work on mining in Nevada, Donald Hardesty brings scholarship up to the present with important new research and insights into how people, technology, culture, architecture, and landscape changed during this period of mining history.

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On the Edge of Purgatory

An Archaeology of Place in Hispanic Colorado

Bonnie J. Clark

Southeastern Colorado was known as the northernmost boundary of New Spain in the sixteenth century. By the late 1800s, the region was U.S. territory, but the majority of settlers remained Hispanic families. They had a complex history of interaction with indigenous populations in the area and adopted many of the indigenous methods of survival in this difficult environment. Today their descendants compose a vocal part of the Hispanic population of Colorado.

Bonnie J. Clark investigates the unwritten history of this unique Hispanic population. Combining archaeological research, contemporary ethnography, and oral and documentary history, Clark examines the everyday lives of this population over time. Framing this discussion within the wider context of the changing economic and political processes at work, Clark looks at how changing and contesting ethnic and gender identities were experienced on a daily basis. Providing new insights into the construction of ethnic identity in the American West over hundreds of years, this study complicates and enriches our understanding of the role of Hispanic populations in the West.

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