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
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 2019 Gopher State Artifact show will be held Saturday, March 30 at the Steele County History Center in Owatonna, Minnesota from 9am to 3pm. The History Center is located at 1448 Austin Road, on the southeast corner of the Steele County Fair Grounds. The event is open to the public and offers an opportunity to see the region’s private artifact collections. The event is sponsored by the Gopher State Archaeological Society.
The 2019 Lake Superior Basin Workshop will be held Friday March 15 and Saturday March 16 from 9am to 5pm at the University of Minnesota Duluth in Cina Hall rooms 224 and 214. See the attached flyer and map for additional information: http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019workshopREVmap.pdf As always, the emphasis is on informal displays and discussion about archaeology of the region, both sides of the border. The event is free and open to the public. If you have questions contact Sue Mulholland at email@example.com
The Pine City Area History Association will host Brian Klawiter who will be speaking about arrowheads and what we can learn about the past by examining them. Klawiter who is a geologist and archeologist will share his study of a group of local artifacts and explain that both the style of the arrowhead and the stone it is made from can provide information about the people who created and used these tools. The Pine City Area History Association general meetings are free and open to the public. It will be held at the Pine City Public Library, 300 5th Street, at 2 pm on Sunday October 21, 2018. See the attached flyer for additional information: http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Pine-Co-AHA-Oct.pdf
The Snake River Fur Post http://sites.mnhs.org/historic-sites/north-west-company-fur-post (formerly the Northwest Company Fur Post) near Pine City, Minnesota will be hosting its annual Arrowheads and Stone Tools days June 29 from noon to 4pm and June 30 from 10 am to 3 pm. Modern flintknappers will demonstrate their skill at shaping stone into arrowheads and other stone tools. This annual event allows flintknappers, archaeologists, and the interested public a chance to see and discuss how stone tools are made. There is an admission charge to the site, but no additional cost for the event. For additional information check out this link: http://www.mnhs.org/event/5381
The 2018 Gopher State Artifact show will be held Saturday, April 7 at the Steele County History Center in Owatonna, Minnesota. The History Center is located at 1448 Austin Road, on the southeast corner of the Steele County Fair Grounds. The event is open to the public and offers an opportunity to see the region’s private artifact collections.
On Monday, March 12, as part of the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society’s ‘Tapping History’ series the folks from Maritime Heritage Minnesota (MHM) will give a presentation on Lake Minnetonka nautical archaeology and maritime history at the Excelsior Brewing Company (421 Third Street, Excelsior, MN). MHM has been conducting studies in Lake Minnetonka to identify, document, preserve, and conserve wrecks and other submerged cultural resources on the lake bottom. The presentation starts at 7:00 pm with doors opening at 6 pm, with limited seating, first come first served.
I recently received notification of two Requests for Proposals for artifact analyses related to Fort Snelling (21HE0099) and the surrounding area. These are funded by an Underrepresented Communities Grant from the National Park Service (federal Historic Preservation Fund), and are part of a larger project to update the National Register of Historic Places documentation for the Fort Snelling Historic District.
One project is for analysis of Precontact artifacts in the curated collections from Fort Snelling and Mendota. The other is for an assessment of the historical archaeology of African American presence and slavery at Fort Snelling.
There is a tight timeframe for the projects. Proposals are due (by email) on Nov 20. The projects must be complete by the end of February, 2018. Both are relatively small projects. The work would need to be conducted at the Minnesota Historical Society, probably at the Fort Snelling History Center. Here is the link for the Precontact RFP: http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Fort-Snelling-Precontact-Archaeology-RFP.pdf and here is the link for the assessment of African American presence and slavery RFP: http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Fort-Snelling-African-American-Archaeology-RFP.pdf
The annual flintknapping event at the Northwest Company Fur Post at Pine City will be held Friday, June 23 from noon to 4 pm and Saturday June 24 from 10 am to 3 pm. Modern flintknappers will demonstrate their skill at shaping stone into arrowheads and other stone tools. This annual event allows flintknappers, archaeologists, and the interested public a chance to see and discuss how stone tools are made. There is an admission charge to the site, but no additional cost for the event. For additional information check out this link: http://www.mnhs.org/event/719