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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Events

In the field.

 

Updated November 10, 2020

  • MVAC 2021 events are on hold.
      • Schedule of Events will be updated throughout the year.
  • Information about regional archaeology events sponsored by other organizations can be found by visiting MVAC’s Facebook page.

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All|Lectures|Youth|Adult/Family|Teachers

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Artifact Show

Saturday, March 05, 2016
10am - 5pm at Valley View Mall, La Crosse, WI
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

IMGP0452WCome to Valley View Mall and see artifacts representing the area’s long history. Local collectors will display their personal collections, and MVAC staff will bring artifacts recovered from local excavations. Archaeologists will be on hand to answer questions. Bring in your own artifacts for help in their identification. Call MVAC at 608-785-8454 or e-mail Jean if you would like to display your artifacts.

Download Artifact Show Poster

Lecture - Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Tuesday, April 05, 2016
7:30 pm at Affeldt Auditorium - 1309 Centennial Hall, UWL
Lecture

Ice Age Trail talk MickelsonDavid Mickelson, Ph.D., is a glacial geologist from the UW-Madison and the co-author of the book “Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.” About 25,000 years ago glaciers covered more than two thirds of what is now Wisconsin, creating the glacial landforms encountered across much of the state. The 1000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail highlights many of these Ice Age features as it winds its way through Wisconsin. This talk will explain the formation of moraines, kettles, outwash plains, lake plains, drumlins, eskers and tunnel channels using images of modern glaciers as well as many photos and maps from Wisconsin.

Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center and UWL Department of Archaeology & Anthropology are sponsors of this event.

The Archaeology in Our Backyards: Windows to the Past in Urban La Crosse

Thursday, April 14, 2016
7:00 pm at Wisconsin Historical Society Auditorium
Lecture

Jkstevenson_Katherine Stevensonoin Katherine Stevenson of the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center as she explores the challenges and triumphs of archaeology in an urban environment. The greater La Crosse urban area is built on one of the most extensive sets of late Pre-Contact Native villages in Wisconsin. From one back yard to the next, urban archaeology is exposing glimpses of ancient village life.

Native American Foods

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
10:30 am at Myrick Park Center, La Crosse, WI
Lecture

maizeW-181x300For hundreds of years, spring has been a very busy time of the year for farmers in the La Crosse area.  Approximately 700 years ago, the first true farming communities were established by the Native Americans in La Crosse.  In this lecture, you will learn about the crops these farmers grew, including corn.  We will look at how corn developed from a grass in Central America to one of the most abundant food sources in the world.  We will also look at other crops that the early Native Americans grew and the exploration of wild resources.  Presenter is Wendy Holtz-Leith, research archaeologist at MVAC.

Lecture - Digging Up the Facts: Archaeology, Crime Fiction, and Science

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
7:00 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Graff Main Hall, Auditorium
Lecture

EvansArchaeology often serves as a backdrop for mystery novels and crime fiction, and the most successful examples are steeped in realism and authenticity. Join crime novelist Mary Anna Evans as she discusses her award-winning Faye Longchamp archaeological mystery series, focusing on the importance of facts in writing an entertaining story. Evans, an assistant professor of professional writing at the University of Oklahoma, credits her training in engineering for helping her write about science for a mainstream audience. Her work has been recognized for its blend of historical accuracy, literary quality, and entertainment value by numerous organizations such as the Florida Historical Society, the Mississippi Library Association, the American Booksellers Association, and others. Book signing after lecture. Call MVAC at 608-785-6473 or e-mail mvac@uwlax.edu for more information.

Download Evans Lecture Poster

Wisconsin Archaeology Month

Sunday, May 01, 2016
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

A variety of activities will be offered throughout the state during May to introduce the public to Wisconsin’s long and rich cultural past. For a complete list of activities check out the Wisconsin Historical Society’s web site at: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Content.aspx?dsNav=N:4294963828-4294963805&dsRecordDetails=R:CS4131.

Archaeology Event

Tuesday, May 03, 2016
2:30-5:30 pm, 6 pm presentation at Black River Falls Public Library

May 3 Archaeology EventGary Steele’s artifact collection will be on display at the Black River Falls Public Library during the event.  Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center’s Dr. Connie Arzigian will be available to identify artifacts brought in by the public.  Susan Steele will be selling and signing copies of her new book about her father, Gary Steele entitled Alzheimer’s, Archaeology, and the Armed Forces.  Connie Arzigian and Susan Steele will be giving a presentation at 6 pm. The Black River Falls Public Library is located at 222 Fillmore St., Black River Falls, WI.

Volunteer Field Survey Opportunity for MVAC Members

Saturday, May 07, 2016
8:30 am - 4 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Archaeology Center and Laboratories
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

FSurvey15 5MVAC will celebrate Wisconsin Archaeology Month by involving volunteers in surveys of local fields to find unreported archaeological sites. The day will begin with an introduction at the archaeology laboratory, followed by helping with an actual field survey. Participants will end the day back at the lab to wash the artifacts recovered and learn more about their history. The number of participants is limited, so register early. Children may participate if accompanied by an adult.  Advance registration required!  Call MVAC at 608-785-8454 or e-mail Jean to register.

Fee: Free admission for MVAC members.

 

Experimental Archaeology - grades 4-6

Monday, July 18, 2016
9 am - 3 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Wimberly Hall, room 312
Youth

Learn how stone tools were made and how Native Americans used them. Take a nature hike through the marsh to explore food, shelter, and tools Wisconsin’s first people could have used. Try playing the chunky game and making pottery. Cancellations prior to July 1 will receive a full refund minus a $40 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after July 1.

Age: Students entering grades 4-6
Fee: $80
Note: Bring a lunch, drink, snacks and water bottle.

For registration information please contact the:
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Office of Continuing Education and Extension
608-785-6504
Online registration at: http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/active-programs/Archaeology-Workshops/

For information on activity content please contact:
MVAC's Public Outreach Program at 608-785-8454 or e-mail Jean.

Public Archaeology Field Schools (3 day experience) - adults and high school students

Monday, July 18, 2016
July 18, 2016: 9 am–5 pm; July 19–20, 2016: 7 am–3:30 pm at University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Cartwright Center, room 259
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

PFS2015 8This multi-day field and lab experience is a well-rounded opportunity for those who want to learn about the process of archaeology. Work alongside professional archaeologists on an actual archaeological excavation and survey work. Lab work may include washing and sorting ceramics, stone tools, and other remains. An experimental archaeology component may explore making stone tools and using an atlatl (spearthrower). Optional lab hours and local field trips will be available after regular field school hours. No previous experience is necessary. 

This experience is open to high-school students through adults. Fee includes a one-year MVAC membership. Supervised dorm facilities are available for high-school students at an additional cost of $225 for 3 days. Cancellation prior to June 17 will receive a full refund minus a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 17.

Fee: $350

For registration information please contact the:
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Office of Continuing Education and Extension
608-785-6504
Online registration at:  http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/active-programs/Archaeology-Workshops/

For information on activity content please contact:
MVAC's Public Outreach Program at 608-785-8454 or e-mail Jean.

Public Archaeology Field Schools (5 day experience) - adults and high school students

Monday, July 18, 2016
July 18, 2016: 9 am–5 pm; July 19–22, 2016: 7 am–3:30 pm at University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Cartwright Center, room 259
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

PFS2015 18This multi-day field and lab experience is a well-rounded opportunity for those who want to learn about the process of archaeology. Work alongside professional archaeologists on an actual archaeological excavation and survey work. Lab work may include washing and sorting ceramics, stone tools, and other remains. An experimental archaeology component may explore making stone tools and using an atlatl (spearthrower). Optional lab hours and local field trips will be available after regular field school hours. No previous experience is necessary. 

This experience is open to high-school students through adults. Fee includes a one-year MVAC membership. Supervised dorm facilities are available for high-school students at an additional cost of $335 for 5 days. Cancellation prior to June 17 will receive a full refund minus a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 17.

Fee: $500

For registration information please contact the:
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Office of Continuing Education and Extension
608-785-6504
Online registration at:  http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/active-programs/Archaeology-Workshops/

For information on activity content please contact:
MVAC's Public Outreach Program at 608-785-8454 or e-mail Jean

Introduction to Archaeology - grades 5-9

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
9 am–3 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Wimberly Hall, room 312
Youth

Explore MVAC’s Archaeology Lab and work with artifacts recovered from area excavations as an introduction to the science of archaeology. Discover how the first Native Americans in Wisconsin survived using the area’s natural resources. Students must take this class in order to attend the Middle School Field Experience. Cancellations prior to July 1 will receive a full refund minus a $40 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after July 1.

Age: Students entering grades 5-9
Fee: $80
Note: Bring a lunch, drink, snacks, and a water bottle.

For registration information please contact the:
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Office of Continuing Education and Extension
608-785-6504
Online registration at:  http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/active-programs/Archaeology-Workshops/

For information on activity content please contact:
MVAC's Public Outreach Program at 608-785-8454 or e-mail Jean.

Middle School Field Experience – grades 5-9

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Thursday, July 21, 2016
9 am–3 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Wimberly Hall, room 312
Youth

PFS2015 19Take your excitement for archaeology into the field! Students who have taken MVAC's Introduction to Archaeology class in the past can join a La Crosse area project. Participants will work alongside professional archaeologists in the field. Activities may include shovel testing or small-scale excavations. Weather may require alternate activities. Cancellations prior to July 1 will receive a full refund minus an $80 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after July 1.

Age: Students entering grades 5-9
Fee:
$200 (includes travel fee)
Note: Bring a lunch, drink, snacks, water bottle, insect repellent, sun screen. Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes that can get dirty.
Prerequisite: MVAC's Introduction to Archaeology class

For registration information please contact the:
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Office of Continuing Education and Extension
608-785-6504
Online registration at:  http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/active-programs/Archaeology-Workshops/

For information on activity content please contact:
MVAC's Public Outreach Program at 608-785-8454 or e-mail Jean.

Open House - MVAC Archaeology Field School

Thursday, July 21, 2016
10 am - 2 pm at Norskedalen Heritage Farm (Skumsrud)
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

DSCF3735

See what the MVAC summer Public Field School participants have been doing! Stop by on Thursday, July 21, between 10 am and 2 pm at the Norskedalen Heritage Farm (Skumsrud) to see the ongoing fieldwork and collections of materials that have been recovered in the past. In case of rain, we’ll be inside working with the collections.  The Norskedalen Heritage Farm (Skumsrud) is 1/2 mile west of Coon Valley, WI on Hwy 14/61. Check MVAC’s website for updated information at: mvac.uwlax.edu. Call MVAC at 608-785-6473 or e-mail MVAC@uwlax.edu for more information.

Archaeology Festival

Saturday, September 10, 2016
10 am - 4 pm at Whitewater State Park
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

atlatlW-300x238MVAC’s Connie Arzigian will be demonstrating the atlatl at the Whitewater Valley Archaeology Festival between noon and 3 pm. Come and practice your skills with the atlatl.  The festival will celebrate the unique human history of the Whitewater River. Throughout the day there will be special speakers and presenters offering a variety of programs and activities for all ages to enjoy. Some activities will include tours of the former camp of the CCC and German POWs, try your hand at archery and atlatl throwing, observe traditional fire starting and flintknapping techniques, visit the Marnach pioneeer house and Smokey Bear at the Elba Fire Tower.

Directions: Located 3 miles south of Elba on State Highway 74.

More Information: call 507-932-3007 or visit http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/event.html?id=47549.

Did Polynesians Reach the New World? South American Sweet Potatoes in the Pacific Islands.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
7:30 pm at UWL, Centennial Hall, room 1400

Upcoming lecture by UWL Archaeology & Anthropology Department

Sweet potatoes are a New World crop, yet we find them in prehistoric contexts in the Pacific Islands. How did they get there? Weighing evidence derived from archaeology, physical anthropology, linguistics and cultural anthropology (as well as ethnobotany, ethnohistory), this presentation concludes that the most plausible explanation is that ancient Polynesian voyagers reached the South American coast, and brought them back to Polynesia.

Presenter: Dr. Rich Scaglion, UCIS Research Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Anthropology

Lecture is free and open to the public.

UWL campus map: http://www.uwlax.edu/map/index.htm

International Archaeology Day

Saturday, October 15, 2016
Adult/Family, Teachers

International Archaeology Day LogoMississippi Valley Archaeology Center is a Collaborating Organization for the Archaeological Institute of America’s International Archaeology Day on Saturday, October 15, 2016.  For more information about the day visit: http://www.archaeological.org/archaeologyday.

Annual Awards and Lecture - Heard But No Longer Seen: Epitaphs as a Window into the Lives of Roman Children

Thursday, November 17, 2016
Social 6 pm, Awards 6:30 pm, Lecture 7 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Cartwright Center, Port O'Call
Lecture

Gresens-photoWUnderstanding the daily lives of ordinary people in ancient times is a challenge for historians and archaeologists—especially when the subject is infants and children. The Romans opened a special window into the lives of these little ones by leaving information literally chiseled in stone. Ironically, most of what we know about the lives of Roman children—especially those of the lower classes—comes from funerary engravings, or epitaphs. Dr. Nicholas Gresens, Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Rochester–New York, will discuss the fascinating world of Roman epitaphs, comparing those of children and adults, and those of lower-class children and their wealthier peers, to explore how childhood was constructed and perceived in ancient times. Call MVAC at 608-785-6473 or e-mail mvac@uwlax.edu for more information.

Download Gresens Lecture Poster