20 Photos - Jul 13, 2012
Photo: Abandonded building (boarding house) at Lake Alta, Colorado, at about 9,000 ft.  Was once a 'thriving' mining community.  Archaeology deals with both prehistoric and historic sites.  The area is within site of Lizard Head Pass.Photo: Wet sediments near the boarding house and on the slope should provide better preservation of some materials.Photo: Propping up the past.  Stabalization efforts are sometimes pretty simple.  Abandoned about 1948 the community was settled about 1870.Photo: With a solid roof and external structure this building does not look too bad all things considered.  What will it look like in 1000 years?  How about 2,000?Photo: Not so well preserved. On the slope things slide. Some of the structures of the mining operation were dismantled (intentionally torn down).Photo: Mother Nature returning buildings to the soil.Photo: Scatter of building debris, bed springs and the material culture of Alta Community.  The archaeological record being formed before your eyes.Photo: Wood deteriorates at different rates in different climates and species used can also impact preservation.Photo: A 'comfort station' - leaning a bit to the side. Outhouse deposits, privy deposits and the like can provide excellent information to the archaeologist. No kidding, they are potential treasure troves of information!Photo: Lizard Head Pass to the right of the boarding house.Photo: Intact roofing helps maintain the integrity of the building though the back porch awning is taking a tumble.  Wonder what it will look like after the coming winter's snow?Photo: Nails can provide information on when houses were build. These are all wire nails less than 100 years old.http://wayne.academia.edu/KrystaRyzewski/Papers/1347940/Historical_nail-making_techniques_revealed_in_metal_structurePhoto: A two hole outhouse.  This one may collapse under the coming winter snows.  Will check it out in the summer of 2013.Photo: A stove.  Lots of historic 'debris' provide possible dating options.  There should be a model number on this stove and it will be pretty easy to date.Photo: Marker requesting respect for the past. Tesla and Westinghouse worked at this site - that is pretty interesting in and of itself!Photo: Details of construction can provide information on when structures were made.  Each winter is a challenge at this altitude. The area gets somewhere between ten and 20 ft. of snow annually.Photo: Bed springs, tin and trash are all  part of the archaeological record, historic and prehistoric.Photo: Part of the mining operation falling apart.  Note the orange talus slope in the background - part of the mine tailings associated with gold mining.Photo: Lots of ore was processed here.  Beatiful summer day in June but winter would be something else.Photo: Industrial archaeology focuses on material like this - the historic record - manufacturing, mining, etc. each region presents a special record of human activity. http://www.adoptamine.org/aboutaml/other-reasons/243/archaeology-of-mining-waste/