North Shore Archaeological Survey

The Duluth Archaeology Center (DAC) is conducting an archaeological survey with funding from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Minnesota Legacy Amendment, approved by voters in 2009.  The survey will focus on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Cook, Lake, and St. Louis Counties and adjacent areas of Carlton County, where glacial lakes were present 12,000-10,000 years ago. Researchers will be looking to document both historic and prehistoric sites. The fieldwork will begin this fall with a final report to be completed by the end of June 2011.

 The purposes of the survey are to summarize what is known about the prehistoric occupation of the region, to update the State Archaeologist’s site file with regard to the status of known sites, to find unrecorded sites, and to build a narrative predictive model of where prehistoric sites should be located.  The north shore of Lake Superior is poorly known archaeologically because the area has never been systematically surveyed for sites and the region is geographically unique in Minnesota with a coastal landscape.  The region features rocky coastline, numerous rushing rivers entering Lake Superior, and steep slopes descending from the Lake Superior highlands.  Glacial lake beaches extend well above the current Lake Superior water levels.  The southern end of the region includes flat and boggy lowlands of the southern Glacial Lake Duluth basin containing the lower St. Louis River and Nemadji River.  A clearer understanding of archaeological site locations will help agencies protect important sites and allow archaeologists to better understand prehistoric cultures in the region.

DAC is asking collectors and other people who know of archaeological sites in the region to provide information for recording new sites.  DAC would like to photograph artifacts and relocate the sites where they were found.  The public’s help would be greatly appreciated in recording the history of this important area.  You can contact DAC by email at or by calling 218-624-5489

One thought on “North Shore Archaeological Survey”

  1. Hi there Steve, Sue & Jenny-I worked with all of you awhile ago & would like to join on a dig or whatever you have planned. Let me know what is happening. Karen

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