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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Sanford Archaeological District

March 9, 2016

ArtifactsThe Sanford Archaeological District underlies about 26 city blocks of the modern city of La Crosse. Between A.D. 1300 and 1600, Oneota people lived in villages in the La Crosse area, farming fertile floodplains and establishing villages on drier land above. In 1991, excavations prior to construction of a parking lot at the Gundersen site revealed over 700 storage or garbage pits within one city block, as well as cemetery areas. Lines of postholes indicated where posts for houses or other structures had been placed in the ground. Since that time, other excavations done in for various construction projects have encountered hundreds of storage and refuse pits, and additional burials. Today, the entire site area is considered to be archaeologically sensitive. (Photos: left, pendant; top right, copper bead; bottom right, bone bead)