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Public Archaeology @ Vadnais Lake

Posted by Ehme     Date:

 

Lake Vadnais web Public Archaeology @ Vadnais Lake

The Shoreview Historical Society and the North Lake Owasso Neighborhood Group are hosting an archaeology event that allows the public to participate in an archaeological survey of Lake Vadnais in Vadnais/Snail Lakes Regional Park.  The goal is to better understand the early history around Lake Vadnais.  Survey up to this point has located two new archaeological sites.  Archaeologist Dr. Jeremy Nienow will lead the archaeological shovel testing survey the weekends of August 27 – 28, September 17 – 18 and September 24 – 25, 2016.  Participants must be able to stoop, use a shovel and be outdoors for the duration of the time you sign up for.  No previous experience is necessary.   A donation of $10 per session is suggested to offset program costs.  Kids and Scouts 12 to 18 are free.  Follow this link for an informational flyer and contact information:   http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Lake-Vadnais-survey.pdf

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Job Posting

Posted by Ehme     Date:

Ridgley Job PostingThe Midwest Regional Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs has posted a job opening for an archaeology technician position.  The position will be located in Bloomington, MN at the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Midwest Regional Office.  This is a full time temporary position for one year.  The posting closes August 18th.  Check out this link -  https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/447115900/

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Minnesota River Valley Survey

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MnR Map Minnesota River Valley Survey

A survey report recently posted by the Office of the State Archaeologist details the results of an archaeological and geomorphological study of the Minnesota River valley, The Minnesota River Trench:  An Archeological and Geomorphological Study of its Prehistory and Settlement by Austin A. Buhta, Rolfe D. Mandel, Michael G. Michlovic, Eric C. Grimm, and L. Adrian Hannus.  The primary goal of the study was to determine where prehistoric archaeological sites are located within the valley and to determine whether there are settlement patterns present among the primary prehistoric cultural traditions that are present in the valley.  The second focus was to evaluate a known, possible, paleoindian site (21LP0011) in the river trench.  Excavation at an intact paleoindian site within the valley could help understand some of Minnesota’s earliest occupants and would also provide information on the timing and character of Glacial River Warren, which formed the Minnesota River valley as Glacial Lake Agassiz’s southernmost outlet.

MNR Cov Minnesota River Valley SurveyThe geomorphological study helped to determine what landforms within the river trench would have been available for habitation at a given period in time and also explained how erosion and channel migration would have modified or destroyed any archaeological sites present.

The archaeological study used information from previously recorded sites along with field survey of 1,446 acres to ascertain site locations within the river valley.  Erosion and sedimentation have resulted in a low probability of surficial sites within the valley.  Recent work has documented that colluvial and alluvial processes have buried sites in the lower Minnesota River valley under meters of sediment.MnR buff Minnesota River Valley Survey

This technical report will likely be of more interest to professional archaeologists rather than avocational archaeologists, however the section regarding the excavations at site 21LP0011 is an interesting read.  At this site the archaeologists try to determine the age of the major component of the site without the advantage of diagnostic artifacts or datable material recovered from their excavations.

Follow this link to download the report (it is a 13 MB file):  http://mn.gov/admin/assets/minnesota-river-report-public-b_tcm36-247477.pdf

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Stone Tools of Minnesota

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stone tool Stone Tools of Minnesota

The Office of the State Archaeologist recently posted a digital version of a new stone tool identification guide for Minnesota.  The publication titled “Stone Tools of Minnesota” was authored by Toby A. Morrow with contributions by Scott F. Anfinson, Kent E. Bakken, Guy E. Gibbon, Michael D. Giller, John H. Hahn, Daniel K. Higginbottom, and Craig M. Johnson.  The project was funded by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Minnesota Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment as part of the Statewide Survey of Historical and Archaeological Sites.
The book is more than just and identification guide to Minnesota’s stone tools, but a textbook on lithic materials and lithic technology in Minnesota.  For example, the introductory chapter includes sections on; objects stone tool2 Stone Tools of Minnesotacommonly mistaken for stone tools, facts about fakes (modern reproductions), how we have learned about stone tools, and lithic use wear and residue studies (plant residues including starches and phytoliths and animal residues like blood).
Besides the Introduction, chapters include; A Brief Primer in Geology; History of Lithic Analysis in Minnesota (Anfinson); Chipped Stone Tools; Projectile Points; Chipped Stone Raw Materials (Bakken); Ground Stone Tools; and a chapter on Future Directions which suggests the directions future studies to understand and analyze stone tools should take.
The book is heavily illustrated with excellent color photographs showing the artifacts full size and is over 400 pages in length.  It has something for both the avocational and professional archaeologist.  Due to the size of the digital file it was posted as two downloads.   Part 1: http://mn.gov/admin/assets/stone-tools-of-minnesota-part1_tcm36-247478.pdf    (14MB) and Part 2: http://mn.gov/admin/assets/stone-tools-of-minnesota-part2_tcm36-247479.pdf   (17MB).  At this time there are no hard copies of the report available, the Board of the Statewide Survey of Historical and Archaeological Sites is working on getting it published.

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Flintknapping Event

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point 2015b Flintknapping EventOn Friday June 24 and Saturday June 25 the annual flint knappers gathering will be held at the Northwest Company Fur Post near Pine City, Minnesota.   You can watch these skilled artisans make modern versions of ancient stone tools.  This annual event allows flintknappers, archaeologists, and the interested public a chance to see and discuss how stone tools are made.  The event is free but there is an admission fee to the site.  Check out this link for additional information.   http://www.mnhs.org/event/719

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Job Opening

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KH0093survey Job Opening

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service is looking for a part time archaeologist (20 hours a week, based in St. Paul) to help with the backlog of field survey projects.  The position is through the National Older Worker Career Center so you must be at least 55 years old to apply.  Follow this link for additional information:  https://www.nowcc.org/r/positions/view.aspx?record_id=3679