Archaeology vs. Looting

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Archaeology Vs. Looting

Kristina Walters
Undergraduate Student

Dr. Kelly Dixon briefs the fall 2013 Archaeological Survey class prior to their ascension up the mountain to the mysterious undisclosed location in the Lolo National Forest. Dr. Dixon explained how it is possible to discern that this pit was not left over from their initial excavation because if archaeologists do dig a test pit, they employ the necessary methods to ensure the integrity of the pits sediment matrix is kept intact. It is sad, and infuriating, that careless individuals would potentially destroy a historic site in pursuit of loot. After this discovery, students measured the dimensions of this pointless pit in order to submit a report to the Forest Service as part of the site stewardship program.


Moonshine Production?

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Moonshine Production?

Kailin Hatlestad
Anthropology Graduate Student
Our survey class had the opportunity in late September to visit a site in the Lolo National Forest and the pleasure to be accompanied by the Lolo NF Archaeologist, Sydney Bacon. The site in question is assumed to be built due to a mining claim in the area, but the uniqueness of the layout and masonry suggest an alternate or additional use: moonshine production. More study is needed to confirm or deny this hypothesis, but it has potential.

The trek to the site permitted time for questions to form about what people were doing out in this terrain and why. Once reached, the rare layout was exciting to explore. Artifacts, features and ecofacts were located, identified and discussed. Unfortunately, looters disturbed the site in two locations. This discovery emphasized the importance of cultural resource protection and imparted to us some realities of archaeological work.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

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Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Rachel I., Undergraduate Student

Archaeological Survey Class Fall 2013

“Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder.”

My time at the Mercantile with Dr. Dixon’s Archaeological Survey class was thoroughly enjoyed. I was able to see the amazing tin ceilings, the incredible wood floors, the narrow, but very neat spiral stair case. I got to see a part of the Mercantile that most don’t usually see. That building, as big as it looks from the outside is actually even bigger inside. There are so many rooms down in the basement/underground. The Mercantile is both architecturally awesome and archaeologically amazing! My time spent there was not something I will forget. It is truly beautiful, both inside and out.