Annual Pine City Knapp-In

This coming Friday, June 24th and Saturday, June 25th the annual Pine City Knapp-In will be held at the North West Company Fur Post , 1.5 miles west of I-35 at the Pine City exit.  This annual event has been taking place for a couple of decades, allowing flintknappers, archaeologists, collectors, and the interested public a chance to see and discuss how stone tools are made.  The event is co-sponsored by the North West Company Fur Post and the Minnesota Knapping Guild. 

If you are a flintknapper of any skill level you are welcome to bring yourequipment, and a chair, and join in.  There are usually knapping tools and raw stone for sale.  The public is encouraged to watch and ask questions and to bring artifacts they have found for identification.  There is an admission fee to the site, but the Knapp-Inn is free.  Bring your family and spend some time touring the reconstructed fur post and then sit a spell, and watch, and visit with the flintknappers.

Red Wing Archaeology

Dr. Ron Schirmer gave a lecture at the Anderson Center in Red Wing last Tuesday night.  The lecture was a Minnesota Archeology Week event.  Schirmer gave a summary of what had been accomplished bylast year’s (2010) Minnesota State University-Mankato Field School at the Red Wing Locality and the research goals for this year’s field school.  All of the archaeology that has taken place around Red Wing has focused on the large habitation and mound groups in the area.  Work at sites like Silvernale, Bryan, Energy Park, and Adams have looked at the Mississippian Period occupants of these sites, but the study of these people has raised questions about where they came from and what happened to them?  The Red Wing Locality was intensely occupied by Mississippian peoples for a relatively short time.  Are these Mississippian inhabitants local Woodland people who adopted some of the Mississippian traits of their neighbors to the southeast?   And given their relatively short occupation, probably only a couple of generations, where did they go? Continue reading “Red Wing Archaeology”

2011 Elden Johnson Distinguished Lecture

Tonight, (Wednesday, May 11) Dr. Scott Anfinson, State Archaeologist, will present the 2011 Elden Johnson Distinguished Lecture entitled “What Elden Didn’t Know:  Recent Advances in Minnesota Archaeology”.  Elden Johnson, an archaeologist, a professor at the University of Minnesota and a former State Archaeologist was one of the instigators of Minnesota Archaeology Week and a founder of the Council for Minnesota Archaeology, which organizes this event each year.  Anfinson was one of Elden’s students.  Dr. Anfinson will speak about the new developments in Minnesota archaeology since Elden’s tenure as an educator and State Archaeologist.  The talk will examine Elden’s contributions from his 40 years of Minnesota archaeology and the technological advancement and archaeological discoveries of the last 20 years that may have changed his perspectives and research interests.   Come and see this well illustrated and interesting lecture. 

There will be a public reception prior to the event beginning at 6:30 pm at Room 1-147 in the Carlson School of Management Building at the University of Minnesota West Bank Campus with the Lecture to follow.  This link will take you to a flyer for the event.

Gopher State Spring Artifact Show

If you are looking for something to do this weekend and the snow doesn’t get too deep, the Gopher State Archaeological Society will host its annual Spring Artifact Show at the Clarion Inn in Rochester, Minnesota on Sunday, April 17, from 9 am to 3 pm.  The Clarion Inn is located at 1630 South Broadway.  There is a nominal admission fee.

Minnesota Archaeology Updates

The Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) recently added a couple of publications to their web site which are downloadable.  These include the 2010 Annual Report of the Office of the State Archaeologist which, along with a lot of bureaucratic information, also includes summaries of the projects that the OSA investigated.  There are also PDF versions of final reports from some of the Legacy Amendment funded projects including the Swift County archaeological survey, exploring the possibility of using LiDAR to survey for mounds and earthworks, and an examination of traditional cultural properties in the five county metro area.  The OSA also provides  a document summarizing the completed projects and the status of ongoing Legacy Amendment projects titled A Preliminary Summary of the Accomplishments of the Statewide Survey of Historical and Archaeological Sites.”  This summary report is a good place to start to determine if you would like to get more in depth information about any of the projects before downloading the individual project reports which are rather large files. 

The Spring 2011 issue of the Minnesota Archaeological Society (MAS) Newsletter is now available on line.  The MAS will hold its annual meeting and banquet on Friday, April 15 at 6:30 pm at Sorin Hall on the campus of Hamline University in St. Paul.  The speakers will be Anne Merriman and Chris Olson of Maritime Heritage Minnesota who will present their findings from “A Survey of the Mississippi River in Aitkin County and the Wreck of the Steamer Andy Gibson.”  For additional information or reservations check out the newsletter link above.

Remember to keep in mind that Minnesota Archaeology Week will be May 14th through the 22nd and to watch for event information in the weeks ahead.

Lake Superior Basin Workshop

The Lake Superior Basin Workshop will be held this Friday and Saturday, March 18th and 19th at the Northwest Company Fur Post near Pine City, Minnesota.   The workshop is a rather informal gathering of archaeologists, avocational archaeologists, collectors, and the general public with lots of hands on opportunities to view artifacts and hear about ongoing projects.  Something of a last hurrah before the field season begins, the focus has traditionally been the archaeology of the Lake Superior Basin with archaeologists from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Canada in attendance.  It has gradually expanded to include any regional topic and has facilitated collaboration between archaeologists from different states and countries.  Continue reading “Lake Superior Basin Workshop”

Upcoming Classical Archeology Lecture

If you are looking for something to take your mind of the snow and cold on Thursday evening check this out.  The Minnesota Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) will be hosting a lecture by Nancy Wilkie titled, Archaeology in Sri Lanka: Challenges and Prospects for the Future on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 6pm in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center at Macalester College.  Nancy C. Wilkie is the William H. Laird Professor of Classics, Anthropology and the Liberal Arts at Carleton College in Northfield. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Greek from the University of Minnesota, and her B.A. in Classics from Stanford University. Her areas of specialization are prehistoric Greece, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, and cultural property issues.  The lecture is open to the public.

Archaeology on Almanac @ the Capitol






Last night, Wednesday, February 9, 2011, TPT’s Almanac @ the Capitol featured a segment on the archaeological excavations at the historic Agate Bay townsite which is located near Two Harbors, Minnesota.  They speak with State Archaeologist Scott Anfinson and Minnesota Historical Society archaeologist Tim Tumberg who is in charge of the project.  The feature is near the end of the episode.  To view this episode click on this link.