Minnesota Field Schools

As part of their undergraduate training all archaeologists participate in a field school.  There were five field schools held in Minnesota by various state institutions  this summer.  

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Department of Anthropology held their field school at an historic site in Old Wadena County Park where they continued the investigation of a multi-component site that includes a significant French colonial period fur trade location, and the initial survey of a second reported fur trade site.  They also managed to get in on the Wadena tornado for some added excitement. 

Minnesota State University-Mankato investigated several sites in the Red Wing area, including a couple of sites across the Mississippi River in Wisconsin.  Fieldwork included surveys for new sites along Spring Creek and test excavations at sites discovered by the 2006 field school.  One of the sites investigated appears to be a single component Oneota site were students discovered large intact pit features just below the plow zone, indicating that the site has great research potential.

The University of Minnesota Duluth continued excavations at a group of aceramic (without pottery) sites in the Bay View School Forest in Duluth.  Then students headed north to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area to do some site survey for the National Forest Service.

St. Cloud State University archaeologists excavated at the Shoemaker site, located on the campus.  Students are studying the community of Lowertown, occupied in the early 1850s by European-Americans who came to St. Cloud from eastern states.  Lowertown homes and businesses were located underneath what is now the SCSU campus area. 

Minnesota State University-Moorhead field school participants were involved in a county-wide survey for archaeological sites in Swift County.  Swift County is located in west central Minnesota.   The county-wide survey is one of the archaeological projects being completed using funds from the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment.  The students relocated previously recorded archaeological sites and found a number of previously undocumented sites in the county.

2 thoughts on “Minnesota Field Schools”

  1. I remember when finding an archaeological field school in Minnesota was akin to finding a paleo-point. Perhaps one a year in the entire state. But now five!?

    This is great – I just hope there are enough jobs for everyone in a few years. Archaeology needs them.

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