Industrial Heritage and Archaeology

The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. —Sir William Bragg

Industrial Archaeology—MS

Fast Facts

  • Michigan Tech offers one of the few industrial archaeology programs in the world.
  • Industrial archaeology faculty members serve on the boards of professional and scholarly organizations and have won awards for their publications.
  • The industrial archaeology graduate programs maintain close ties with the Michigan Historical Center, the US Forest Service, and the National Park Service. We take advantage of our proximity to the many historical industrial sites within the Keweenaw National Historical Park, Isle Royale National Park, and the Hiawatha and Ottawa National Forests.

Learn more: Industrial Archaeology (MS)

Graduate Programs in Industrial Archaeology

Industrial archaeologists record, interpret, and preserve industrial and engineering-related artifacts, sites, and systems in their cultural and historical contexts. Industrial archaeology generally applies to the study of industry since the Industrial Revolution, and it can include sites as old as seventeenth-century iron forges or as recent as twentieth-century steel mills.

Our interdisciplinary approach fuses archaeology, historic preservation, the history of technology, material culture, the history of architecture, and anthropology. Hands-on fieldwork, archaeological surveys, and excavation—as well as architectural, historical, and archival research—reflect the emphasis upon the material remains of industry.

The MS in Industrial Archaeology prepares students for careers in cultural resource management firms or for additional academic study. Most students complete the program in two years, including a summer of field work at the West Point Foundry site, in Cold Spring, New York.

Michigan Tech’s Archaeology Laboratory supports the processing, documenting, and cataloging of artifacts from field excavations.

Learn more: Industrial Archaeology (MS)