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Historical Archaeology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 4–23 | Cite as

The Historical Experience of Labor: Archaeological Contributions to Interdisciplinary Research on Chinese Railroad Workers

  • Barbara L. Voss (芭芭拉 ‧ 沃斯)
Article

Abstract

Since the 1960s, archaeologists have studied the work camps of Chinese immigrant and Chinese American laborers who built the railroads of the American West. The artifacts, sites, and landscapes provide a rich source of empirical information about the historical experiences of Chinese railroad workers. Especially in light of the rarity of documents authored by the workers themselves, archaeology can provide direct evidence of habitation, culinary practices, health care, social relations, and economic networks. As archaeologists expand collaboration with each other and with scholars in other fields, interpretations of archaeological research move beyond site-specific description into analyses that trace the changing experiences of workers as they entered new environments and new landscapes. The materiality of daily life at railroad work camps is interconnected with the risks the workers endured and the wealth that their labor generated for railroad owners and investors.

劳工的历史经验: 考古学对于中 国铁路工人之跨学科研究的贡献

Chouxiàng

自1960年代以来, 考古学家已经研究了修建美国西部铁路 的中国移民与美国华裔劳工的劳工营。这些文物、现场以 及景观为我们提供了有关中国铁路工人之历史经验的丰富 实证材料。尤其在工人们自身书写的文件相对匮乏的情况 下, 考古学能为他们的居住, 饮食, 健康, 社会关系与经 济网络提供直接的证据。随着考古学家拓展彼此协作, 以 及他们与其它学科学者之间合作, 考古学研究的诠释范 围已经超出了对特定现场的描述: 如今, 我们已能够追 踪分析工人们在进入新的环境与景观后所发生的经验变 化。铁路劳工营的日常物质生活与工人们所承受的风险, 以及他们为铁路拥有者和投资者所创造的财富, 都是相 互关联的。

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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara L. Voss (芭芭拉 ‧ 沃斯)
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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