Students Dig Up WWII History

DU archeology students, professors and volunteers set out for southeastern Colorado to uncover what’s left of Amache, a WWII internment camp. The excavation was part of a field school offered by the Department of Anthropology.  (See a photo gallery from the dig.)

Amache was one of 10 War Relocation Authority camps where Japanese and Japanese-Americans were forced to live for more than three years following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Although it was one of the smaller camps, Amache housed more than 7,000 people, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens.

Bonnie Clark, assistant professor of anthropology and leader of the field school, says she and her students learned a great deal about the Japanese Americans who lived at Amache for three years.

Clark’s team found that the inmates toiled over elaborate gardens in several areas of the internment camp. “They put a ton of work in what they hoped was a temporary situation,” Clark says.

See more of what they found, and hear from a former internee:

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Read more about the Amache camp and the excavation project:

Published on Feb. 23, 2009