Another edition of Got CALICHE?, and geez, don't ya just hate it when dogyears opens his mouth and doesn't insert a faux pax (hehehe...) ;>

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STUDENT ARCHAEOLOGISTS LOOKING TO UNEARTH TOWN'S PAST 04/06/99 U.S. Forest Service officials set fire to an area of Botetourt County last spring to clear kudzu during a controlled burn. They ended up finding remnants of a once thriving iron mining town. Forest officials didn't initially realize the historical gem they'd uncovered _ a town named Lignite. The Forest Service is now working to map the town and collect significant artifacts in hopes of opening Lignite to the public. A group of James Madison University students is helping uncover remnants of the once-thriving town. Carole Nash, a JMU anthropology instructor, said exploring Lignite will fill gaps in Virginia's early 20th-century history, including the history of the state's iron mining industry. Most students working at Lignite are taking introduction to archaeology and anthropology classes, Ms. Nash said. During a recent week, a van carrying about a dozen students rolled down a gravel road leading to the site each day. Luckins Steel owned the property near Oriskany when the Forest Service purchased it about five years ago and added it to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests system. Lignite was founded by the Alleghany Ore & Iron Co. in 1899. It was home to about 300 laborers and was complete with neighborhoods, a church, a commissary and a schoolhouse. When the company left in 1924, so did most of its people. The company dismantled the homes and other structures and sold the building materials, said Bob Boardwine, the New Castle district ranger for the Forest Service. All that remains are some chimneys, partial foundations, the railroad bed, mine pits, the legs of a water tower and artifacts, he said. Virginia produced more than $317 million worth of pig iron between 1830 and 1930. Pig iron was converted into cast iron, wrought iron and steel, and Botetourt County's iron mining activity was brisk in the early 1900s. Lignite's main competitor was the nearby Fenwick Iron Co., which operated during roughly the same years. Both operations were dependent on cheap labor. "It was basically an iron plantation," Forest Service archaeologist Mike Barber said. Laborers "mined it, they busted it up, washed it and railed it out of here." The town sat on about 75 acres, with the entire mining operation spread over about 200 acres, Barber said. The last crude map of the area was made in the 1920s, and Barber has copies of the town's 1910 census data. Anthropology sophomore McKenzie Harrington, 19, said traveling two hours from Harrisonburg to the site was worth the trip. She said most archaeological projects have already been mapped out when the students arrive. "It's interesting because you kind of have to figure it out yourself. It helps you learn what to look for," she said.,1113,74463,00.html Alfred Kroeber, wrote to a colleague: "If there is any talk about the interests of science, say for me that science can go to hell." Send back the brain. Just ahead of Prime Minister Jean Chretien's scheduled visit Mexico, authorities there have released a Canadian man jailed for stealing archeological relics. He was handed over to immigration authorities, who were expected to deport him more than six months after he made an ill-fated trip to the Palenque ruin site in Chiapas, about 300 km north of this colonial-era city.