Kooskia Internment Camp Archaeological Project – Week 2 Summary

We have completed week 2 of the project and are happy to report that we have uncovered the remains of what appears to be a foundation associated with the internment camp. After conducting nearly 30 shovel tests during the very long and hot first week of the project, our work finally paid off. We began finding fragments of foundation in several shovel tests and made the decision to open up a 1×1 meter excavation unit to see if we could locate a foundation. Lo and behold we hit the steps of what may either be the administration building or the laundry building:

We are hoping to locate federal prison records that document the construction and layout of Canyon Creek Federal Prison in the upcoming months. This will help us determine the original function of this building during the site’s prison era. From our observations, it appears as though the footstep is made out of concrete just like the foundation above it. Locally quarried rocks and rounded river cobbles appear to have been used in the concrete foundations.

While opening this excavation unit, we taught our students how to layout a 1x1m unit using the Pythagorean theorem, how to tie a proper knot and string up a unit, how to calculate the elevation of a unit’s corners, and how to fill out paperwork while excavating a 1x1m unit. Photos from our instruction can be seen in the Week 2 photo album, which is under the “Gallery” tab above.

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