SVALBARD ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY - 2003
barren industrial landscape surrounding the settlement of Longyearbyen
on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is marked by remnants of early
20th century coal mining activities. Various mining related buildings,
including ropeway stations and the grandiloquent ropeway towers trace
the linear movement of coal from exposed hillside veins to the former
harbor on Advent Bay.
of the earliest coal mines at Longyearbyen was started by Michigan
native John M. Longyear, who Longyearbyen is named after. The Arctic
Coal Company began operations in 1906 with partner Frederick Ayer of
Boston. Longyear and mine managers Frederick Burall and Scott Turner
are graduates of the Michigan School of Mines, the forerunner of
Michigan Technological University. Manuscript documents, photographs
and company records exist in the MTU archives.
Department of Social Sciences, Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI 49931
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