You cannot open or develop a mine unless you have established the archaeological significance of the site. The best example I know of is the Royal Mountain King Mine in California where major excavations prior to mining establish long and extensive habitation and use of the area by the many, varying groups who came to the site for salt and acorns. The story is told by Brian Fagan in Before California: An Archaeologist looks at our earliest inhabitants.

Thus I approached the site of Statistical Research, Inc (SRI) with interest. Christopher Dore, their Chief Marketing Officer had contacted me to suggest that I add a category for Archaeologists to the InfoMine Consultants database so that we had a suitable place to post their listing. He noted that they are looking to expand provision of services to the mining industry. So I knew not to look for case histories of archaeology on mines.

I must, however, confess a fascination with archaeology ever since my days courting at Sterkfontein, Kromdraai, and Makapansgat (at this link is a presentation about these sites for the committed - it takes a while to download, but it's chockfull of information).

Thus I poured with some desire over the SRI list of publications their staff have turned out. If ever there is proof of the competence of people the papers and books they have produced must be it. I make it my ambition to get a copy of these books:

  • Rivers of Rock: Stories from a stone-dry land: Central Arizona Project Archaeology by Stephanie Whittlesey
  • Islanders and Mainlanders: Prehistoric Context for the Southern California Coast and Channel Islands
  • Sixty Years of Mogollan Archaeology.

They are a powerhouse; let me quote from their site:

  • SRI was established in 1983 by Jeffrey H. Altschul to provide a vehicle for creative people to do interesting and exciting work on the human condition.
  • Staff includes 30 individuals with Ph.D. degrees in anthropology or a related field, 14 with M.A. degrees in these fields, and 4 with M.B.A. or equivalent degrees.
  • We are innovators, developing cutting-edge programs in geospatial technology, archaeometry, measurement and modeling, interdisciplinary studies, cultural-landscape studies, and public outreach.
  • They are the second largest historic preservation consulting firm in the world (working on #1)