Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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An Update From Jacksonville’s Chinese Quarter

Monday, October 21, 2013

Chinatown Wooden Feature OregonJACKSONVILLE, OREGON—A continuing excavation in the nineteenth-century Chinese Quarter of Jacksonville, Oregon, has uncovered preserved pieces of a wooden structure that had been destroyed by fire. “We are literally looking inside the house of a Chinese individual or individuals from 1888….It is a poorly understood population in history, not only in Jacksonville but in the West,” said Chelsea Rose of Southern Oregon University. The house is thought to have been situated behind a laundry. Artifacts from the house include an opium can, a drug used socially and as a pain reliever; a porcelain rice bowl; a cow’s jawbone; a button; Chinese coins; a mini-musket ball; a necklace chain; two bone dice; and the bottom of what may have been a liquor bottle. “There is so much opium paraphernalia coming out of here. But this was not an opium den. This was a house,” she added.