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      Improvements are coming to Italian Hall Site

      Student archeologists from Michigan Tech are surveying the Italian Hall Site. They're looking for any type of archeological remains underground before improvements can be made to the site. "We're using remote sensing and a little bit of slightly intrusive testing as a way of helping them plan for taking care of this site to make sure nothing gets damaged in building a new memorial," said Tim Scarlett, Associate Professor of archeology and anthropology at Michigan Tech. Tech is working with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community's Tribal Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service. "Our project is to improve the landscape and site interpretation so that people coming by will learn more about what happened here and the importance of the Italian Hall and the events that transpired there," said Park Ranger Jo Urion, historian with the Keweenaw National Historical Park. One of the first steps in this process is to find out what's underground, and to do so, they're using a ground penetrating radar machine. "It sees under the ground and reflects back off of things of different density like airplanes versus rain clouds and builds a picture of what lies under the ground," Scarlett said. Once the team reviews the radar pictures, they will move on to the final step known as a shovel test probe. "The idea is not to dig up a bunch of stuff but to make an assessment of what is there rather than to discover a lot of it this time," Scarlett said.