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 commonly 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.

Gopher State Artifact Show

The annual Gopher Sate Artifact Show will be held at the Steel County History Center in Owatonna on Saturday March 19, 2016 from 9am to 3pm.  The event is open to the public.  There is usually a small admission fee and if you have an artifact you would like to have identified there will be lots of experts on hand to offer an opinion.  This is also an opportunity to get a sense of the rich archaeological history of the region.  The Steel County History Center is a great place for a show like this with lots of natural light.  Download an event flyer with additional information at http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2016-Gopher-State-web.pdf

 

West Central Minnesota Archaeology

Professor George Holley from Minnesota State University Moorhead recently completed a cursory inventory of a private artifact collection gathered in Douglas County, Minnesota.  Holley, whose specialty is pottery, is seeking to better understand Minnesota’s precontact ceramic chronology.  George’s report discussion focuses on the types of ceramics in the collection.  Lots of artifact pictures to browse.   Click here to view his report.

Gopher State Artifact Show

The annual Gopher Sate Artifact Show will be held at the Steel County History Center in Owatonna on Saturday March 21, 2015 from 9am to 3pm.  The event is open to the public.  There is usually a small admission fee and if you have an artifact you would like to have identified there will be lots of experts on hand to offer an opinion.  This is also an opportunity to get a sense of the rich archaeological history of the region.  The Steel County History Center is a great place for a show like this with lots of natural light.  Click here to download an event flyer with additional information.

Lithic Materials Workshop

I just received a reminder from the folks organizing the upcoming lithic materials workshop see below:

Hello, everyone–This is just a reminder about the Lithic Materials Workshop. If you want to give a paper or poster, have a display, bring materials to the lithic exchange, attend the Friday night reception or Saturday lunch, please complete the online survey by next Friday, February 14, to help us with our planning.

The survey is located at: https://uwlacrosse.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_54uPFPxe8LBxLsV

We hope to see you there!

Fri., February 28, 1:00-5:00 pm and
Sat., March 1, 9:00 am-3:00 pm
UW-La Crosse, Cartwright Ctr, 337 & 339

This event is free and open to the public!

What is it? This free, two-day event is an informal workshop featuring posters, papers, displays, and a lithic material exchange, with plenty of time to talk.

Who’s invited? Everyone interested in regional lithics and lithic raw materials-archaeologists, collectors, flintknappers, students, or anyone else who likes to discuss rocks and how they were used.

Presentations, posters and displays: Scheduled for Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. There will be plenty of time to talk, and we encourage participants to bring materials to show and discuss.

Lithic materials exchange: Saturday afternoon we’ll have a lithic material exchange so people can view and trade samples of raw materials.

For  additional information, and updates: http://www.uwlax.edu/mvac/Lithic.htm

Contacts: Kathy Stevenson, kstevenson@uwlax.edu and Connie Arzigian, carzigian@uwlax.edu

Gopher State Artifact Show

The Gopher State Archeological Society will host its annual Artifact Show at the Steele County History Center in Owatonna, Minnesota on Saturday, March 30, from 9 am to 3 pm.  The Steel County History Center is located at 1448 Austin Road, on the southeast corner of the Steele County Fairgrounds in Owatonna.  The event is free and open to the public.  Click here for a flyer.

Bannerstone

 

Earlier this week I had someone show me a very unusual artifact for Minnesota, a bannerstone.  Bannerstones are usually found in the Eastern United States.  This link to Wikipedia provides some general information about them and their function.   This particular one was found 30 years ago during a construction project.  Most of the authentic bannerstones that I have seen from Minnesota, less than a dozen total, have been this rectangular shape.  The material it is made from is also similar to that of some of the other Minnesota bannerstones I’ve seen before.  One theory is that they were atlatl weights and would have been hafted as part of an atlatl, or spear thrower, as shown in the picture below.  The wood of the atlatl shaft passed through the hole in the bannerstone.  Bannerstones were used during the Archaic into Early Woodland time periods.