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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

MVAC’s 2015 Public Field School – Photo Gallery

August 10, 2015

MVAC 2015 Public Field School

The 2015 public field school brought together middle school, high school and college students and adults to explore another portion of the Norskedalen Heritage site property just west of Coon Valley, WI. Surface collections from agricultural fields on the property indicated that occupations may extend back for thousands of years, into the Archaic and/or Woodland periods. Our goal was to see if there were any in situ deposits below the plow zone.  We excavated 8 2×2 meter squares down through the plow zone. Some units had only a few artifacts, while others produced several hundred flakes per 10 cm level in the plow zone.  In most units we also found scattered artifacts at the base of the plow zone, extending just into the subsoil. One unit, however, had the base of a nice chipping feature that extended in a tight concentration down at least 10 cm into the subsoil. This might be connected to the very high concentration of lithics in the plow zone of that unit and two adjacent units. Many of the flakes in the subsoil concentration were very small, too small to capture in a quarter-inch screen, so we collected all the soil, returned it to the lab and will wash it through window screening to recover all of the small flakes. Throughout the units we also found several cores, early stage bifaces, and a number of flakes that look like scraping and cutting tools, suggesting we have a small workshop. We will be analyzing the material to see if we can identify anything diagnostic to tell us how old this concentration might be. We look forward to 2016 field season to continue exploring adjacent areas and see what else is out there. Thanks to everyone who helped with this year’s field school!  Thanks to those who provided funds for student scholarships!  Thanks to Norskedalen for hosting the field school at their Norskedalen Heritage Site!

The 2015 Public Field School provided the opportunity to try out our new GoPro camera:

See all the videos at:

See pictures at:



What’s a little rain to an archaeologist…

A bit wet for the last day of MVAC’s 2015 Public Field School.