Downtown Excavation Site Reveals Missoula's Rich History

Uncovering some of the artifacts buried under the city can help to reveal the day-to-day lives and interesting quirks of Missoula’s residents from over a century ago. Kelly Dixon, professor at the University of Montana’s Department of Anthropology, and Kate Kolwicz, graduate student at the UM, spoke to KGVO News about excavation work currently taking place along West Main and West Front of Downtown Missoula.

Recent construction at the soon-to-be opened Cranky Sam Public House has unearthed artifacts dating back to the 1880s and 1890s, and students at the University are busy cleaning, sorting, and identifying treasures that have been recently salvaged.

Kolwicz listed some of the items that have been discovered at the excavation site, some of which still contain residue that can be analyzed in a lab.

“There are probably thousands of artifacts, and that ranges from intact glass bottles, glass medicine and liquor bottles, to ceramics, also either broken or intact. We have some organic remains, like bones from beef, pork, and sheep. We even have some oyster shells, clams shells, and crab claws. We have metal stuff; we have a Chinese meat cleaver and some Chinese locks.”

The UM is working with the University of Idaho

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