Historical Archaeology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 100–109 | Cite as

Inscribed in Stone: Historic Inscriptions and the Cultural Heritage of Railroad Workers

  • Timothy R. Urbaniak (提摩太 ‧ 乌班涅克)
  • Kelly J. Dixon (凯利·狄克逊)


Historic inscriptions accompany rock art panels and sandstone cliffs throughout Montana and the North American plains. The two historic inscription locations described here emphasize the cultural and historical value of these provocative archaeological signatures. One of these includes a cliff face incised with Chinese characters near the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, & Pacific Railroad in southeastern Montana. The Chinese characters are among other historic inscriptions associated with a coal mining district established by that railroad to supply the fuel for its engines, underscoring the inherent connections between extractive industries and railroad rights-of-way. The second location includes a collection of Japanese words and names, as well as Irish and Norwegian names, incised into a sandstone cliff face adjacent to a section of the Northern Pacific Railroad. These inscribed archaeological sites represent text-aided resources that may be some of the only written accounts available to better understand the lives and identities of people in transnational work camps of railroads and associated extractive industries in the American West.

石头记: 铁路工人的历史碑铭与文化遗产


在蒙大拿州和北美平原的岩石画壁与沙岩悬崖上, 历史碑 铭四处可见。本文所描述的两处历史碑铭凸显了这些令人 兴奋的考古学地标的文化与历史价值。其中一处碑铭刻有 中文, 靠近芝加哥、密尔沃基、圣保罗以及蒙大拿东南部 的太平洋铁路。它们与为铁路提供燃料的煤矿相关, 展现 了冶金工业与铁路通行权之间的内在联系。第二处碑铭包 含一系列日文、爱尔兰以及挪威的姓氏, 均刻于靠近北太 平洋铁路的一处沙岩悬崖上。这些考古学遗址为我们更好 地理解在美国西部铁路以及相关冶金业的国际性劳工营内 生活和工作的人, 提供了可能是唯一的文字性资料。


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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy R. Urbaniak (提摩太 ‧ 乌班涅克)
    • 1
  • Kelly J. Dixon (凯利·狄克逊)
    • 2
  1. 1.Archaeology Field Team and Drafting and Design ProgramMontana State University-BillingsBillingsUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MontanaMissoulaUSA

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