Archaeologist speaks to Chase Historical Society
As an archaeologist for the federal Bureau of Reclamation, by the time Catherine Griffin gets to a site, there often isn’t much history left.
But what is there can tell much about people who lived there a long time ago.
Speaking Saturday to the Chase County Historical Society’s annual meeting, Griffin, of the bureau’s Nebraska-Kansas Area Office, said, “I find little bits and pieces”—pottery shards, nails, bottles, pieces of farming implements.
Griffin is part of the latest generation of archaeologists who work to preserve history that often ends up under water.
The Bureau of Reclamation, which she described as “a wholesale water distributor for the western United States,” came out here after the Dust Bowl and
Depression eras. But it ramped up its work during World War II.
In 1943, the Missouri River had one of the largest of its regular floods, inundating military training fields at the Omaha airport. Since that was harming the war effort, the Army Corps of Engineers stepped in to prevent that from happening again.
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