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Underground History: Digging The Chinese Diaspora

A dig in Eastern Oregon.

Even smaller cities on the West Coast--think Yreka--once had a Chinatown, home to people from Southern China. They came here in the 19th century, to work on the railroads and in mines, and other places that needed laborers.

The departure of masses of workers from the other side of the Pacific is identified as the Chinese Diaspora, and it is a constant topic of study for historians and archaeologists.  Digs in Jacksonville and many other places around the region have helped tell the story of the people who left China for better prospects here. 

And there's a new book on those digs, Chinese Diaspora Archaeology in North America.  Chelsea Rose of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) is a co-editor with Ryan Kennedy. 

So now you know what this month's Underground History is about.  The editors join us, along with fellow archaeologist Laura Ng from Stanford University.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.