SOU Archaeologists Return to Jacksonville’s Chinese Quarter

Public Archeology Day is October 12 at the Site

(Ashland, Ore) The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA), in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City of Jacksonville, will conduct archaeological excavations at the Chinese Quarter Site in Jacksonville, Oregon Saturday, October 12, from 10:00 a.m through 2:00 p.m. The archaeological excavation will be open to the public.

The Jacksonville Chinese Quarter Site was established in the mid-1850s and is thought to be the earliest Chinese quarter in Oregon, making it significant on both a regional and national level.  The site served as a vital resource for the thousands of Chinese miners working in southern Oregon in the 19th century.

SOULA’s 2013 archaeological work at the Chinese Quarter Site will expand on previous excavations in an attempt to uncover buildings associated with the neighborhood when it burned in the late 1880s.

“While the town of Jacksonville is known for its 19th century past, it was not frozen in amber.  Key neighborhoods—like the Chinese Quarter—are no longer present,” says SOULA Archaeologist Chelsea Rose “The excavations in Jacksonville’s Chinese Quarter provide us with an opportunity to bring that neighborhood back to life—and to learn about its people, businesses, and the important role it served in the larger community.”

Rose says hosting an “open site” public day allows for visitors to learn about archaeology and to share in the excitement of discovery. “We want to provide an opportunity for people to learn about the importance of our local archaeological resources, why we work so hard to preserve them, and how they contribute important data to our understanding of the dynamic history of the American West.”  Public Archaeology Day will be hosted by SOU and the Southern Oregon Historical Society (SOHS). Visitors will be able to speak with archaeologists and SOU students about the excavations, view artifacts, and learn about the archaeological process.

Visitors heading to Jacksonville can also check out the annual “Meet the Pioneers” event at the nearby Jacksonville Cemetery. You can support the restoration of this historic cemetery and learn about the history of Jacksonville through special guided Living History tours on Friday October 11, and Saturday October 12. Tours depart every 15 minutes between 4:00 – 7:30 p.m.  Contact the Jacksonville Visitors Center for more information.

  • What: Jacksonville Chinese Quarter “Open Site” Public Archaeology Day
  • Where: Main Street, Jacksonville, Oregon
  • When: Saturday, October 12, 2013
  • Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

About Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology conducts archaeological research throughout southwest Oregon. Our work in the field and in the lab allows students to gain practicum experience towards the anthropology major and the Cultural Resource Management certificate. Consequently there is an applied orientation to our work, and each project is conducted in collaboration with federal and local agencies and Indian Tribes. We currently have ongoing research projects with the Coquille Indian Tribe, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Medford District Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Oregon State Parks, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Jackson County, and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.

Media Contact: Jim Beaver

Office: 541-552-6093
Mobile: 541-840-8441
E-mail: beaver@sou.edu

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