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:

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  • History and Theory of Archaeology


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The Montana's archaeology offered many answers to questions concerning mountain steamers that researchers have been unable to answer with reference to history alone. The wreck site also enabled them to ask intelligent questions that would not have occurred to them had they not studied it. History and archaeology have taken them far in this quest for knowledge of the western river steamer. More questions can be asked and answered with more work on site. The material culture carried aboard the vessel has, as yet, barely been examined. Yet, the Montana carried in her hull the goods of everyday life on the western frontier. While the Montana's hull demonstrates the pinnacle of wooden ship construction for inland transportation, the goods it carried represent the everyday lives of all who braved the American West. The Montana's history and subsequent archaeological investigation can be utilized as a case study for understanding and appreciating the development of the trans-Mississippi West. Through the Montana's activities, trade, transportation, and population patterns that shaped both the past and present are discovered.

Keywords: Montana; steamboats; shipwreck; history; archaeological investigation

Chapter.  2234 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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