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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Artifacts

Pearlware, Hand-Painted

September 21, 2017

Fragments from at least 31 hand-painted pearlware vessels were found during the 1999 excavations at Second Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. This bowl from the Enlisted Men’s Quarters is painted with a distinctive, two-tone blue design. It has…

Elk Astragalus – Carved

September 14, 2017

The artifact shown here was recovered in an Oneota feature from the Sand Lake Archaeological District in La Crosse County, Wisconsin in the mid 1980s. It is a tarsal bone (astragalus) from the lower, rear leg of an elk. It…

Metate and Mano

August 17, 2017

Manos are circular in shape, with battered sides and two surfaces flattened and smoothed from use.  Manos often have central pits on either one or both of the flat grinding surfaces.  The function or origin of these pits is not…

Trade Earring

August 10, 2017

One broken teardrop trade earring made of copper was recovered from the 2nd Fort Crawford Enlisted Men’s Quarters. Examples of these earrings have been found on numerous contact-era sites, although sometimes they are made of silver.  Second Fort Crawford is…

Bison Horn Core

August 3, 2017

The photo on the left shows a partial horn core of a bison just below the trowel in a refuse pit at Pammel Creek, an Oneota  site in La Crosse County. Bison bones, other than shoulder blades (scapulae) made into…

Horn Core – Bison

August 3, 2017

The photo on the left shows a partial horn core of a bison just below the trowel in a refuse pit at Pammel Creek, an Oneota  site in La Crosse County. Bison bones, other than shoulder blades (scapulae) made into…

Crowfoot Hooks for the Harvest of Freshwater Mussels

July 13, 2017

The historic artifacts in this photo are called “crowfoot hooks.” They were the business end of perhaps the most effective method ever developed for harvesting mussels from the Mississippi and other mussel-bearing rivers. Mussels, most commonly called “clams,” once occurred…

Trade Pipe

June 29, 2017

This piece of a trade pipe was recovered from a site located south of La Crosse, Wisconsin.  The nob at the base of the pipe indicates that the pipe is very recent and suggests a time range of 1810-1830 A.O.

Pendant – Bone

June 13, 2017

In 1979 UW-La Crosse archaeologists conducted a survey to locate sites in the vicinity of La Crosse. The area was a major center for prehistoric cultural activity, especially in late precontact times. There was a sense of urgency because La…

Pendant – Copper

June 8, 2017

This copper pendant was recovered from an Oneota (1300-1550 AD) pit feature in 1990.  The pendant measures 6.26 cm long, 1.54 cm wide, and 0.09 cm thick. The piece has a hole drilled at one end and a small portion…