Luther College students use remote sensing technology to study Decorah history | Headlines

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Luther Faculty college students are utilizing their archaeology information and specialised expertise to be taught extra a few piece of Decorah historical past – the Ice Cave Mill.

“This venture was significantly thrilling as a result of it offered the flexibility to disclose an essential, however largely forgotten, side of Decorah’s historical past that continues to be buried simply beneath the floor,” mentioned Colin Betts, professor of anthropology. “It was the right technique to have college students apply the information from the classroom to an actual world setting. Not solely had been they in a position to get sensible expertise utilizing the expertise and deciphering the outcomes, however within the course of, we had been in a position to generate data that might be of curiosity to the bigger Decorah neighborhood.”

The Ice Cave Mill was constructed in 1874 and was an essential a part of Decorah’s financial system. Positioned in what’s now Wold Park on the east aspect of Decorah, it was a big, three-story construction that offered the realm with flour till it closed in 1931. The constructing burned down in 1939 and was demolished years later. Though the final location is thought, and the related mill race remains to be seen, the precise location and archaeological preservation of the mill had been unknown till now.

“The scholars used innovative geophysical distant sensing strategies, together with floor penetrating radar and soil resistivity, to research the positioning. These strategies are in a position to present an image of archaeological stays under the bottom with out having to dig. Our analysis allowed us to precisely map the placement of the intact mill foundations and traces of the related railroad siding,” mentioned Betts. 

Figuring out the placement and options of the mill proved to be a memorable analysis alternative for Betts’ college students.

“I’m very grateful I had the chance to expertise archaeology firsthand with this venture. It undoubtedly gave me a unique perspective on how the sector can contribute not solely to my schooling as an anthropology main however to the influence that we, as researchers can have on the neighborhood,” mentioned scholar researcher Salome Valvidieso ’23.

Betts has shared their findings with metropolis officers. Researchers may additionally current what they realized throughout a public occasion within the close to future.

“It is nice to have the ability to drive 5 minutes from campus and have a analysis spot just like the Ice Cave Mill inside city. I additionally like the truth that there’s lots of native curiosity in stuff like this from the historic society and past,” mentioned Betts.

About Luther Faculty
           
Luther Faculty is dwelling to about 1,800 undergraduates who discover massive questions and take motion to profit folks, communities and society. Our tutorial applications, experiential method to studying, and welcoming neighborhood encourage college students to be taught actively, dwell purposefully, and lead courageously for a lifetime of influence. Study extra at luther.edu.



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