Underground History

Oregon Encyclopedia

When Charles Applegate moved into his house in Yoncalla, he probably was not thinking much about the year 2017.  Because Applegate moved in in 1852, and that makes his house the oldest one in Oregon continuously owned by the same family. 

As you could probably tell by the many places named Applegate, the family has been an influential one in the state's history. 

That's why a team from the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon spent some time there recently, digging for artifacts. 

That's the topic of this month's edition of Underground History, co-hosted by our friends at the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

University of Washington Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology

When we talk about "unearthing history," it's quite literal for archaeologists. 

And while the professionals supervise the work, there's room for amateurs to dig in the ground for clues to the lives of the people who preceded us. 

In this month's installment of "Underground History," our partners at the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology introduce us to the Oregon Archaeological Society

OAS provides volunteers for digs around the state, and provides those volunteers with training. 

SOULA Facebook page

Untrained eyes will only see a wooded hillside.  But the people of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology--SOULA--travel with trained eyes. 

And they used those eyes, plus metal detectors and other tools, to further investigate the site of the Battle of Big Bend, the last skirmish in the "Rogue Indian War" of the 19th century. 

This month's installment of Underground History brings details of the dig to the forefront. 

nagagroup.org

Lumps of beeswax were offered by Native Americans in trade with white explorers along the Oregon Coast centuries ago. 

The explorers wondered where the beeswax came from, and the answer appears to be from the wreck of a Spanish cargo ship in the Manila-Aculpulco trade.  Possibly before 1700! 

The wax still turns up from time to time, but the ship's remains have eluded discovery thus far. 

This month's installment of "Underground History" brings Southern Oregon University Laborary of Anthropology experts Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose back to the studio. 

University of Oregon

We have mixed feelings in our country about refugees who arrive on our shores seeking a safe place far from wars. 

But we forget that human beings in our own region felt the same impulse in the middle of the 19th century.  That's when the series of battles and skirmishes collectively known as the Rogue Indian War disrupted life in the region. 

One site of particular interest to archaeologists is the Harris Cabin, near Merlin in Josephine County.  The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology has studied the site for years now. 

It is the focus of this month's edition of "Underground History." 

You think of archaeology, you think of shovels... digging in the ground is what recovers artifacts. 

But technology helps in covering broader areas, like the ancient burial mounds of the Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota.  Most of the mounds have been disturbed, but LIDAR technology has allowed the mapping of the remaining mounds. 

And further investigation shows a propensity for lightning strikes at the mounds.  That's the focus of this month's "Underground History" with Mark Tveskov of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

The idea of an American West that is timeless and unchanging stands in sharp contrast to the social reality.

Over the past two centuries, drastic changes have taken place in the societies that occupy the west, and changes--especially economic ones--continue to this day. 

This is the subject matter for the book Historical Archaeology Through a Western Lens, by Margie Purser of Sonoma State University and Mark Warner of the University of Idaho. 

They are the guests in this month's edition of "Underground History," co-hosted by Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

publicceo.com

The State of Jefferson gets some recognition from the Oregon Historical Society in its latest publication. 

The Oregon Historical Quarterly's latest issue focuses on historical events and research in our corners of Oregon and California. 

The issue itself bears the one-time-only title of "Jefferson Historical Quarterly."  So we talk about some of the work to explore the region in this month's edition of "Underground History." 

In-house archaeologist Chelsea Rose from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology returns. 

jacksonvilleoregon.com

It is only appropriate that Southern Oregon's largest observance of Chinese New Year takes place in Jacksonville. 

The historic city was home to a significant Chinese population, back in the days when Jacksonville was a mining center and the county seat. 

Our in-house archaeologists from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology have explored that period in history through digs in Jacksonville. 

And Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose return with another installment of "Underground History," with guest David Lei.  He is a featured speaker in Chinese New Year ceremonies this weekend (February 18). 

BLM

Thank goodness for the dry environment in the vicinity of Paisley, Oregon. 

The conditions have helped preserve evidence of possible human habitation thousands of years ago... long before the usual theories about the first humans in North America. 

Dennis Jenkins at the University of Oregon has supervised many digs at the Paisley Caves, and now he reports on the finding of very old horse bones found there.  Dr. Jenkins shares the microphone in this month's edition of "Underground History." 

University of Washington Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology

It's a little cold to be digging in the ground at the moment, but at least we have our summer memories. 

And that's the focus of this month's Underground History segment, with Mark Tveskov of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (Chelsea Rose is away). 

Mark brings in a couple of guests to talk about the summer archaeology program at the Grande Ronde Reservation. 

It brings archaeologists and tribal members together to search for artifacts using techniques in harmony with tribal values. 

Public Domain

Pilgrims and Indians, and a big outdoor feast.  That's what we learned about the roots of the Thanksgiving holiday in elementary school. 

There might have been a LITTLE embellishment of the story down the years.  Our resident archaeologists, Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose, return with another installment of "Underground History" to sort the fact from the fiction. 

Archaeologist Rae Gould of the Nipmuc Nation of Massachusetts shares some insights; Stephen Sillman of the University of Massachusetts-Boston also gets in on the conversation. 

Underground History: A National Act

Oct 26, 2016

A lot of notable legislation came out of the 1960s.  You can tell by the number of 50th anniversary celebrations going on lately. 

Those include 50 candles for the National Historic Preservation Act, which created the National Register of Historic Places and a framework for protecting historical and archaeological sites. 

Which is music to the ears of our resident archaeologists, Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose. 

Underground History: The Tunnel That Wasn't

Sep 28, 2016
Public Domain/Wikimedia

The driving of a final spike in Ashland in 1887 completed the railroad line running up the West Coast. 

But the project took a few shortcuts along the way, and the evidence of options not taken are still out there.  Like Buck Rock Tunnel near Ashland.  Crews drilled 300 feet into the rock and stopped, in favor of a different tunnel across the valley. 

Buck Rock is the focus of this month's Underground History segment with our resident archaeologists, Chelsea Rose and Mark Tveskov. 

Introducing "Underground History"

Aug 24, 2016
JPR News

Our region is rich in history, much of it hidden just below the surface. 

Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) dig it, in the most literal sense. 

And it's fascinating work... we invited them to join us monthly for a segment we call "Underground History." 

This week, Oregon's assistant state archaeologist joins in; John Pouley made a rare find of a "biface cache" in the Willamette Valley. 

USDA Forest Service

Archaeologists from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology--SOULA--thrilled in recent years to a key discovery. 

Crews found the site of the battle of "Hungry Hill," which the American military powers-that-be probably wanted to forget. 

The battle pitted the Army against Native Americans in the Rogue River Indian Wars, and the native people won the battle--under the leadership of a woman.