Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review

Document Type



Undeniably, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the ways in which life carries on, whether this manifests in the forms of altering how people interact or how individuals work to further career goals. In the field of archaeology, attending an accredited field school takes central importance to developing much-needed skills; however, the virus made such opportunities nonexistent. Seeking a remedy for this rapidly-changing situation, I decided to make the decision to run a “field school” in my parents’ backyard. What was uncovered went beyond the nearly 300 recovered artifacts, extending into the largely unexplored history of Canton Township, Washington, Pennsylvania. Just a few feet below the suburban landscape lies the remnants of an industrial past, one that speaks to the revolutionary steel technology that once dominated the land and permeated into the lives of nearly all of those living there. Through archaeological inquiry, assisted by archival research, what started out as a means of gaining basic experience in archaeology developed into the tale of transformation from rural landscapes to mill-dominated complexes to modern suburbs. What is revealed in this article moreover drives the idea that history is all around us and, in some cases, may lie right under our backyards.



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