The Historical Archaeology of Ore Milling: Ideas, Environment, and Technology
AuthorRichey, Christopher Shaun
AdvisorCowie, Sarah E.
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Changes in milling technology at the Cortez Mining District, a gold and silver mine located in a remote area of central Nevada, are examined through the study of five mills that were active between 1864 and 1944. Each mill is analyzed through documentary and archaeological sources in order to understand how different forms of technology were implemented and modified to most effectively treat ores over time. Locally, this process of technological adaptation was influenced by changing environmental knowledge. On a larger scale, the milling technology is contrasted against global trends relating to a second wave of industrialization, such as the use of engineering and scientific knowledge in industrial pursuits, and the increasingly systematic deployment of capital.