Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Urban history in the ground

This morning I listened to a great program on Steve Scher's Weekday program (on Seattle's KUOW radio), Construction Projects and the Archaeology of City Development. This show focused on some specific urban infrastructure projects in Seattle, but the discussion addressed broadly relevant aspects of archaeology and cultural resource management (CRM) issues in urban settings.

    When the 520 bridge design is finally agreed on, the digging will begin. What will we find underground? There are already several major construction projects digging deep under Seattle's urban center. In addition to all the dirt, they may be removing artifacts of this city's storied history. If the deep–bore tunnel ends up going right through a Native American village site, what happens to the construction project? What happens to the artifacts that are recovered? Who pays for the archaeological surveys? What can we learn about Seattle's hidden history from the mega–construction projects?

Coll Thrush is one of three featured guests on this program, speaking, in part, from his experience writing Native Seattle.

For some photos and two articles about the 520 bridge and viaduct projects in Seattle, see Knute Berger's articles:

Fascinating stuff. Reminds me of the CRM work I did in Bellingham, 2004-2006. Some of this work is featured on another of Scher's Weekday programs, from Aug. 12, 2005.

Here's an article about the archaeologist I worked for in Whatcom County, Alfred Reid.


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