Hill-Lewis Award reinstated

The Minnesota Archaeological Society (MAS) has put out a Call for nominations for the Hill – Lewis Award which recognizes excellence in avocational archaeology.

The Hill – Lewis Award, which was originally instituted by the Institute for Minnesota Archaeology, is given annually to a living avocational archaeologist who has made outstanding contributions to Minnesota archaeology.   The Minnesota Archaeological Society  is now seeking nominations for the 2018 Hill – Lewis Award.  Please forward your nomination to Dan Wendt, MAS President at Wendt001@gmail.com.  The 2018 submission deadline is February 1st

Nominees for the award should have made important contributions to our knowledge of Minnesota archaeology (prehistoric or historic) through original research or publication, collaboration with professional archaeologists, public outreach, or exceptional K – 12 teaching. 

Note that nominees do not have to be members of the Minnesota Archaeological Society.

Nominators should submit a nomination letter detailing the nominee and their accomplishments, as well as at least one letter of support for the nomination.  The Hill – Lewis Award will be awarded at the Minnesota Archaeological Society Annual Meeting in April.

The Hill – Lewis Award epitomizes the MAS goals of increasing public involvement in archaeology and in promoting the stewardship of the unique and irreplaceable archaeological record of Minnesota.

Pope County Archaeology Event

On Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 1 pm at the Pope County Museum in Glenwood, Minnesota, archaeologists working on the Pope County Archaeological Survey will talk about their current survey project, present preliminary results, and outline future plans.  The presentation entitled “Archaeology of Pope County Presentation and Artifact Identification” will be presented by archaeologists from Archaeo-Physics LLC, including Dave Maki, Sigrid Arnott, and Kent Bakken.  They will discuss the different methods they use, from field walking to ground penetrating radar, and about how artifacts are “de-coded” to help paint a picture of life in Pope County over the last 13,000 years.  The archaeologists will also discuss previous archaeological work in the county beginning in the 1880s, the kinds of archaeological sites that have been found across the county, and what these sites can tell us.

The talk will be followed by an artifact identification workshop.  Residents are invited to bring artifacts they have found, and project archaeologists will provide information on the age, function and historical contexts of the objects.  For more information check out the Pope County Museum web site at:  https://popecountymuseum.wordpress.com/

Continuing MAM Events

Minnesota Archaeology Month (MAM) continues this weekend with a couple of events in the Little Falls area.  Tonight (9/15/2017) Jim Cummings will present a program on the archaeology in Minnesota’s State Parks as part of the Morrison County Historical Society annual meeting.  On Saturday as part of the Camp Ripley Open House Patrick Neumann provide a display about the archaeology within the military reserve along with demonstrations on how artifacts were made and used.

Also on Saturday (9/16/2017) at the McLeod County Historical Museum in Hutchinson the folks from Maritime Heritage Minnesota will present a program on dugout canoes that have been found in Minnesota.  The presentation will focus on the dugout canoe in the museum there in Hutchinson.


That same Saturday the Sidewalk Bar & Grill in West Union will be the location for a presentation by David Mather of the Minnesota Historic Preservation Office on the Sauk Valley Man who was discovered nearby in 1938.  David’s discussion will focus on how interpretation of this site has changed through time.

For additional information about these and other events happening during Minnesota Archaeology Month this September you can download an event schedule here:

http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017-events.pdf

Upcoming Archaeology Events

There are a number of archaeology related events happening this coming weekend September 9 and 10, 2017.   The 15th Annual Minnesota Archeology Fair will be taking place at the Fort Snelling State Park Visitor Center both Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.  The Fair will include a variety of poster and artifact displays, demonstrations and activities illustrating and explaining the archaeology of Minnesota. There will be artifact identification, an atlatl toss and demonstrations of pottery-making and flintknapping.  The underwater archeologists from Maritime Heritage Minnesota will also be there with their visual exhibits and video footage from underwater archeological sites in Minnesota, ask questions of the only underwater archaeologist in Minnesota.

The Jeffers Petroglyph Site will host an Archaeology Day on Saturday the 9th from 1 to 4 pm.  Visit the Jeffers Petroglyphs site and see symbols and images carved into the stone outcrops by people in past times.  Participate in an ongoing simulated archaeological dig.  Kids can take part in a “Digging for Artifacts” program.

And Whitewater State Park will host their annual Whitewater Valley History and Archaeology Festival on Saturday September 9th from 10 am to 4 pm.  Take a step back in time to learn about the history of the Whitewater Valley.   You will be able to participate in a variety of programs and hands-on activities including atlatl throwing, archery, cane pole fishing, old time tools and more.  

For additional information about these and other events happening during Minnesota Archaeology Month this September you can download an event schedule here:  http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017-events.pdf

Minnesota Archaeology Month

This year the Minnesota Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) has decided to expand Minnesota Archaeology Week to Minnesota Archaeology Month.   In an effort to allow event hosts more latitude in scheduling events to just a single week it was decided to expand the celebration to a month long event, hopefully encouraging more participation.  The first Minnesota Archaeology Month will be September, 2017.  If you have an archaeology related event happening during September that you would like to OSA to help publicize contact the OSA through their web site at https://mn.gov/admin/archaeologist/  or bruce.koenen@state.mn.us

Arrowheads and Stone Tools


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

Minnesota Archeologist, Volume 74

The latest issue of the Minnesota Archeologist (Volume 74) has been published. Articles include the third installment of the history of Minnesota archaeology by Guy Gibbon and Scott Anfinson focusing on the period of the 1970s to 2015 looking at cultural resource management archaeology. David Maki, Sigrid Arnott and Michael Bergervoet examine the relationship between burial mound locations and the geophysical evidence for lightning strikes. Jack Steinbring presents some optically stimulated luminescence dates from the Hensler Petroglyph site in east-central Wisconsin suggesting that some of the glyphs date to before 10,000 BP. A multi-component Woodland site in southeastern Minnesota excavated in 1997 by the MnDNR Division of Trails and Waterways, 21HU0167, is reported on by Timothy Tumberg. Dan Wendt and Mark Doperalski assess the limits of raw material analysis and identification by archaeologists in Minnesota, discussing how they are doing and means of improvement. Kent Bakken documents a biface cache from Todd County, Minnesota consisting of 12 minimally worked bifaces made of non-local materials, specifically Mayes Creek Chert and Burlington Chert. Plant microfossils (starch granules and phytoliths) were examined by Alexandra Burchill and Mathew Boyd to provide a better understanding of the plant foods utilized by the Initial Woodland inhabitants of northern Minnesota. Mathew Mattson discusses using traditionally available tools and methods to work raw copper obtained from glacial drift to produce copper tools consistent with archaeologically recovered specimens. David Mather continues his series on Minnesota archaeological sites recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places including two American Indian earthwork sites, an historic stagecoach road and associated archaeological sites, and a multicomponent habitation/mound site in a national forest. The issue concludes with an article in memory of Herb Wright and his contributions to archaeology authored by Scott Anfinson.

Follow this link to see the table of contents http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Volume-74.pdf . If you would like to order a copy contact the Minnesota Archaeological Society. You can email Kent Bakken at bakk0029@umn.edu or Anna Morrow at anmorrow@q.com . They can also be reached by mail at The Minnesota Archaeological Society, Fort Snelling History Center, 200 Tower Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55111.

Gopher State Artifact Show

The 2017 Gopher State artifact show will be held this coming Saturday March 25 from 9am to 3pm at the Steele County History Center, Owatonna, Minnesota, located at 1448 Austin Road, on the southeast corner of the Steele County Fair Grounds.  This year the Science Museum of MN will be at the show to promote the archaeological survey of Dakota County, so any one with artifacts from Dakota County is encouraged to bring them to the show.  The event is open to the public and offers an opportunity to see the regions private artifact collections.

 

Recent Losses

The archaeological community was saddened by the recent passing of two long time Minnesota archaeologists.  Doug Birk whose work focused on the European Colonial period in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.  Doug was an expert on the fur trade and early European exploration.   And Steven Mulholland who focused on northern Minnesota archaeology.  Steve’s expertise was in lithic analysis and toolstone identification, particularly in northeastern Minnesota.  Steve was also a recent past president of the Council for Minnesota Archaeology.  A copy of Doug’s obituary can be found here: http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Birk-obituary-web.pdf   A copy of Steve’s obituary here:  http://mnfieldnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Stephen-Obiturary-web.pdf  

Our condolences to their families.