Welcome to the What Lies Beneath Your Feet Blog!
I created this blog a little while ago and between one thing or another swallowing my time, have not had the opportunity to really get it going. I hope to get this ball rolling now!
So, first – to give you an idea of who is writing, I’ll share a little about myself. I was born in…just kidding. That’s a little too far back! 😉
I recently completed my Master’s in Anthropology with a concentration in archaeology and cultural heritage at the University of Montana, Missoula. My research and thesis focused on the Missoula historic underground. I am currently on a “mini-break” (whatever that is) before beginning work on my Ph.D. in the fall.
“What exactly is the historic underground,” you ask? Many urban areas have historic undergrounds. They are often a place of mystery and lore. This is the case for at least some of the more well-known cities with underground landscapes such as Portland, Seattle, and Sacramento. Tales exist of secret underground passages to houses of prostitution, Chinese opium dens, and Prohibition-era alcohol smuggling operations.
In Missoula, an urban archaeological survey was conducted to investigate subterranean archaeological features including steam tunnels, sidewalk voids, and a mix of mundane and clandestine basement spaces. Archival, architectural, and archaeological evidence, along with local collective memories were integrated to document what physically remains. We’ll discuss more about all of these things, including the lore, in subsequent posts.
Which brings me to my plans for this blog. My goal is to share some really cool facts and photos and stories from the Missoula Historic Underground Project but also for this blog to be educational. At times, I will discuss the project specifically, or cover archaeological terms and methods, or discuss issues in preservation and cultural heritage – particularly in developing urban landscapes. I will sometimes share stories of undergrounds in other parts of the country and the world, both historic and current.
Also among my many interests are abandoned places. In many cases, underground spaces and abandoned places go hand in hand. I will TRY to stick to the theme of undergrounds but I can’t guarantee that will always happen. That’s probably the one other thing to mention for now – the exact posting schedule and topics as mentioned above will be fluid. While I would love to say Mondays are for photos and Wednesdays are for preservation, etc…I know it isn’t going to happen that way so I won’t try. It keeps things more interesting anyway!
Please share this blog with others, make comments and even suggestions for topics! I can’t promise to address these all the time but will definitely make a concerted effort! I’m fine with writing for myself, but that isn’t nearly as fun and fulfilling so I welcome involvement and participation. 🙂
Most importantly, always ALWAYS feel free to ask questions! I love questions!