Security and Safety at the Kooskia Internment Camp

My name is Paige Davies, and I am a junior majoring in Anthropology here at the University of Idaho. This semester, I am looking at security and personal freedom at the Kooskia Internment Camp. My interest in this subject was sparked when I came across two metal keys in the project’s collection, and documents revealing that the internees were allowed to hold keys to very important spaces, such as the garage and gasoline pump. This is surprising, as it conflicts with ideas about the liberties and freedoms give to internees at other camps. Before any interpretation can occur though, the artifacts must first be cataloged.

The first task in cataloging an artifact, after one has checked out the artifact cataloging sheets, is to record to information from the artifact bag. For the two keys in collection, this includes: method of recovery (excavation unit), bag number (#260D and #399A), unit # (both keys were found in N998 E2034), stratum (both also found in stratum 1), and any additional information. Second, the keys are placed into an artifact group, type and category. The keys were placed under Activities, Security and Misc. Metal Items, respectively. Then, the artifacts must be weighed. The other fields to be considered on the artifact cataloging sheet include: Description, Condition, Material, Mark, Maker, Origin, Being Date & End Date, Marked or Dateable, References, Whole Count, Fragment Count, MNI, Remarks and Percent Complete. After the cataloging sheet (Figure 1) has been completed, the catalog number of the artifact is written on the artifact bag, and the sheet is returned to the catalog binder.

Figure 1: Kooskia Internment Camp artifact cataloging sheet.

Both keys (Figures 2 and 3) are made of ferrous metal, and have a whole count of 1, as well as approximately 100% complete. Because the keys are complete, and do not have any marks of any kind, cataloging them was quite simple but uninformative. They are two very distinct keys, as one has two teeth on the shaft, and the other has three teeth. It is very important to indict this on the catalog sheets, to record that they are from two separate locks. More research will be conducted to determine when the keys were manufactured, where they came from, and what they were possibly used for.

Figure 2: Key found at the Kooskia Internment Camp.
Figure 3: Additional key found at the Kooskia Internment Camp.

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