Chapter

Excavating the <i>Montana</i>

Annalies Corbin and Bradley A. Rodgers

in The Steamboat Montana and the Opening of the West

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032542
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039244 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813032542.003.0004
Excavating the Montana

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Incorporating standard Phase II predisturbance procedures allowing maximum data collection for the least survey time and cost, the East Carolina archaeological team documented the remains of the Montana on the Missouri River bottomlands across from St. Charles, Missouri. The wreck site's position on the riverbank allowed easy documentation of half the hull, including the stern, and logical inference of what the submerged half looked like. Survey of the Montana site included documentation of the prominent features on site, as well as documentation of associated artifact scatters and other site features. The journey of understanding from the initial riverbank view of the Montana's wreckage has been profound. Western river steamers were not simply barges with engines; they represented a wholly integrated marine technology specifically designed to deal with and conquer an unpredictable freshwater river environment. Powerful, imaginative, and seemingly unbound by ship-construction standards and traditions, western engineers found startlingly practical solutions to engineering problems, proving their shipbuilding prowess.

Keywords: Montana; shipwrecks; steamboats; surveys; shipbuilding; river streamers

Chapter.  8905 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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