Important piece from the past uncovered in Deadwood - KOTA Territory News

Important piece from the past uncovered in Deadwood


"You have to imagine there was a lot more soil here at the time and that's where the majority of the artifacts came from," said archeologist Chris Leatherman.

It took two months of digging but Leatherman, was finally able to uncover a very important piece of Deadwood's past.

In 1908 representatives from Deadwood's Chinese community had constructed a ceremonial burner and altar at Mount Moriah.

"We found archeological remains, and enough info to give us an idea of how big the structure had been and what it had been made of," said Leatherman.

This unique relic was incorporated in Chinese mortuary rituals and ancestor worship.

Once it was confirmed that what they had found was in fact the Chinese altar and burner they had been looking for, leatherman was overcome with joy.

"In all caps and with explanation points I put, this is the burner, yeah, I was very happy to see that," said Leatherman.

By the 1930s the ceremonial burner and altar fell into disrepair and was eventually destroyed, but with the help of some very skilled people, this artifact looks just like it did in 1908.  

"The altar and burner are beautiful, very beautiful," said Edith Wong.

Although this artifact was once forgotten, today after more than 80 years, this important piece of Chinese culture was dedicated to show those in attendance and future generations this important piece of deadwood's history.

"If you do come to visit Mount Moriah definitely do stop here," said Wong.

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