The Office of the State Archaeologist has recently posted a couple of reports for archaeological surveys funded by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment on its website. The surveys were completed in Wadena and Watonwan Counties in Minnesota.
The Wadena County archaeological survey was completed during the 2018 field season by the Science Museum of Minnesota with survey beginning in May and concluding in November of that year. The survey involved surface reconnaissance of agricultural fields and transects of shovel test pits in high-potential uncultivated areas. The survey also involved the examination of institutional and private collections. Over the course of the survey 3,000 acres were examined adding an additional 36 new sites in the county. In addition to the 2018 survey a small scale excavation was completed at newly identified site (21WD0053) during the spring of 2019. Initial testing had documented the presence of a large number of sherds from a Brainerd Net-impressed pottery vessel within a charcoal rich burn feature. Follow this link to view the Wadena County Survey Report: https://mn.gov/admin/assets/2019%20Public%20Report_Wadena_tcm36-412083.pdf
The Watonwan County survey examined 4,326.78 acres and documented 16 previously unrecorded archaeological properties in the county. The study by the Archeology Laboratory, Augustana University, Sioux Falls included intensive archaeological and geomorphological investigations of select lands in the county. The geomorphological study focused on river valley settings in the county and the results suggest the stream valley settings offer only limited potential for harboring precontact archaeological sites. Of note is the ephemeral nature of the sites documented during the study, of the 16 sites located only two consisted of more than three artifacts. Follow this link to view the Watonwan County Survey Report: https://mn.gov/admin/assets/2019%20Public%20Report_Watonwan%20County_tcm36-412082.pdf
The Minnesota Historical Society has posted a job opening for Head of Archaeology at the Society. This is the position formerly held by Patricia Emerson who passed away unexpectedly in August. Applications are due December 3, 2019. Follow the link below for additional information https://www.minnesotaworks.net/viewjob.aspx?jobid=10853594
The Midwest Archaeological Conference annual meeting begins tomorrow evening (Wednesday October 9, 2019) in Mankato with an early bird reception followed by an all-day fieldtrip on Thursday. Papers will be presented on Friday and Saturday. You may register for the conference at the door. Follow this link for additional information: https://www.midwestarchaeology.org/annual-meeting/upcoming
By now most of you are aware of the loss to Minnesota archaeology with Pat Emerson’s recent death. Patricia Emerson, passed away Saturday, August 31. Pat attended Our Lady of Peace High School in St. Paul and studied Anthropology at Hamline University and Mankato State University before working as an instructor at Mankato State, and an Archeologist at Impact Services, Mankato. In 1985, she accepted the position of Program Manager, Minnesota DNR Trails and Waterways Unit Archaeological Reconnaissance Survey with the MNHS Archaeology Department. In 1994, she became the Program Manager, Minnesota DNR Division of Forestry Heritage Resources Program, and in 2001 she also became the Program Manager, Minnesota DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife Cultural Resource Program. Pat took on the role of Acting Head of Archaeology in 2004, became the Head of Archaeology in 2005, and became the Director of Archaeology in 2013. Pat’s commitment, compassion, and expertise held true throughout her 33 years at MNHS.
Pat was a passionate advocate for archaeology and for the programs she supervised. She was the glue that held Minnesota Archaeology together through her work with the Minnesota Historical Society, the Council for Minnesota Archaeology, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, and the Minnesota Archaeological Society.
A memorial gathering will be held on Sunday, October 20th on the second level of the Minnesota Historical Society History Center, 345 West Kellogg Boulevard in St. Paul from 10am to 1pm.
September is Minnesota Archaeology Month. The mission of Minnesota Archaeology Month (MAM) is to promote interest in archaeology and the role it plays in understanding the state’s rich cultural heritage. The goals of Minnesota Archaeology Month are to encourage public participation in archaeology; stewardship of archaeological sites; communication among professional and avocational archaeologists; and the sharing archaeological knowledge with the general public. There are archaeology related events scheduled throughout the month and across the State. Check out the calendar of events to see what’s happening and participate in celebrating Minnesota’s archaeology. The calendar 0f events can be found at: http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Minnesota-Archaeology-Month-field-notes.pdf
Note that the Archaeology Fair which has been held at Ft. Snelling State Park every year for the past 16 years has been cancelled due to the continuing closure of the park while undergoing repairs from flood damage to the park this spring. A great alternative is the Archaeology Day at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park held on September 28.
The Midwest Archaeological Conference will hold its 2019 annual meeting in Mankato, Minnesota, October 10-12. Conference registration is now open. You do not need to be a member to attend. Check out the conference web site for more information about events and accomodations: https://www.midwestarchaeology.org/annual-meeting/upcoming
Christina Harrison a pioneer in the field of cultural resource management passed away June 27, 2019. A memorial service will be held this coming Saturday, August 10th, 2019 at 1:00 pm at Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church, 2020 W. Lake of the Isles Parkway, Mpls, MN
Swedish Afternoon Coffee to Follow
Music an hour before the service starts.
Christina was always willing to share her knowledge with her colleagues, was an advocate for cultural resource matters, and seemed to have a knack for finding previously undocumented archaeological sites.
Here’s a link to her obituary published in the Minneapolis Tribune last month. http://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/0000316932/
September is Minnesota Archaeology Month. Each year the Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) compiles a calendar of events which is then posted on the OSA web site: https://mn.gov/admin/archaeologist/ If you are considering sponsoring, organizing, hosting, or leading an event during the month check out the these downloads for more information as to how to participate and get your event listed on the OSA calendar.
The Snake River Fur Post at Pine City will hold its annual Arrowheads and Stone Tools Day, this coming Saturday, June 29th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Flintknappers will demonstrate how stone tools like arrowheads and spears were made. Follow this link for more information about the event and the Snake River Fur Post: http://www.mnhs.org/furpost/activities/calendar/6837
The Minnesota Archaeological Society will host its annual meeting and dinner on Friday, April 26, 2019 at Hamline University beginning at 6:30 pm. Dr. Brian Hoffman of Hamline University will present “Along the Red Rock Ridge – Archaeology in a Sacred Landscape” after dinner and a short business meeting. The Red Rock Ridge is an outcrop of Sioux Quartzite that stretches some 20 miles across the prairies and farmlands of southwestern Minnesota. Dr.Hoffman has been working with a team of archaeologists, historians, naturalists, and American Indian elders to understand the cultural and natural history of this unique landscape. They have documented a diverse range of archaeology sites from ancient stone quarries to astronomical observatories. He will discuss how their collaborative work has transformed our understanding of sacred places and human history in southwestern Minnesota.
You do not need to be a member to attend. Reservations are due by April 15, 2019. For additional information follow this link: http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2019_MAS-Dinner-Flyer.pdf