Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Social Sciences


Patrick E Martin


The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the evolution of an early 20th century mining system in Spitsbergen as applied by Boston-based Arctic Coal Company (ACC). This analysis will address the following questions: Did the system evolve in a linear, technological-based fashion? Or was the progression more a product of interactions and negotiations with the natural and human landscapes present during the time of occupation? Answers to these questions will be sought through review of historical records and material residues identified during the 2008 field examination on Spitsbergen. The Arctic Coal Company’s flagship mine, ACC Mine No. 1, will serve as the focus for this analysis. The mine was the company’s largest undertaking during its occupation of Longyear Valley and today exhibits a large collection of related features and artifacts. The study will emphasize on the material record within an analysis of technical, environmental and social influences that guided the course of the mining system. The intent of this thesis is a better understanding of how a particular resource extraction industry took root in the Arctic.