Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

Archaeology students uncover remnants of life at Camp Amache

Cooking pots turned into planters, pieces of porcelain Saki cups and red fingernail polish are a few of the items a DU field crew found when excavating at Camp Amache.

The World War II internment camp in Southeastern Colorado housed nearly 7,300 Japanese and Japanese-Americans from 1942–45. Camp Amachewas one of 10 War Relocation Authority camps where Japanese-Americans were forced to live following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

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

Clark’s field 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. “It speaks to the ways they tried to make a bad situation better and the importance of that to the people who were here.”

To see more of what they found, watch the video.

To read more of our coverage of Camp Amache, see:
Former WWII internee volunteers to help DU archaeologists
DU opened doors to Japanese-Americans imprisoned during WWII
Wartime site offers students a chance to uncover and make history

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