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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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Lecture - Late Prehistoric Native American Village in Downtown Onalaska

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
6:30 pm at Onalaska Public Library
Lecture
Kathy Stevenson

Kathy Stevenson

Wendy Holtz-Leith

Wendy Holtz-Leith

Archaeologists Kathy Stevenson and Wendy Holtz-Leith will discuss the site, including excavations at the Great River Landing location last summer. Stevenson is Operations Manager at the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and Holtz-Leith is an MVAC Senior Research Archaeologist. Typical artifacts from the village will be displayed.

Area residents are invited to bring local archaeological finds for identification to the meeting, which is free and open to the public.  This event is hosted by the Onalaska Area Historical Society.

Artifact Show

Saturday, March 04, 2017
10am - 5pm at Valley View Mall, La Crosse, WI
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

Artifact ShowCome 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. Geri Schrab and Robert “Ernie” Boszhardt, coauthors of Hidden Thunder: Rock Art of the Upper Midwest, will be present for a book signing from noon to 3 pm.  Susan Steele, author of Alzheimer's, Archaeology, and the Armed Forces, will be present all day for a book signing.  Robert Keiper will be demonstrating flintknapping from 11 am to noon. Call MVAC at 608-785-8454 or e-mail Jean if you would like to display your artifacts.

Lecture – At the Crossroads of Europe: Pecica-Şanţul Mare (Romania) and the Rise of Bronze Age Civilization

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
7:30 pm at UWL Student Center, room 3310
Lecture

Tell treesNicodemusThe Carpathian Basin lies at the nexus of major trade routes connecting the Mediterranean to the North Sea and the vast Eurasian steppes to western Europe.  Consequently, it has long played a critical role in the innovation and spread of new ideas and technologies.  One such pivotal period was the Early Bronze Age, when the region acted as a principal hub for the production and trade of valuable goods, especially metals.  At this time, the fortified tell settlement of Pecica-Şanţul Mare (Romania) emerged not only as an economic center, but also developed complex social, political, and ritual institutions, foreshadowing transformations that become hallmarks of later Bronze Age civilizations.  Dr. Amy Nicodemus is an Assistant Professor in the UWL, Department of Archaeology & Anthropology and a MVAC Research Associate.  Call MVAC at 608-785-6473 or e-mail mvac@uwlax.edu for more information.

Night at the Museum

Friday, April 28, 2017
5-7 pm at Riverside Museum in La Crosse's Riverside Park
Adult/Family, Youth

MVAC’s Connie Arzigian will be presenting interactive archaeology activities at the La Crosse County Historical Society’s Night at the Museum.  Activities are designed for preschool and elementary age children and their families.  For more information visit: http://www.lchshistory.org/calendar-of-events/2017/4/28/night-at-the-museum

Wisconsin Archaeology Month

Monday, May 01, 2017
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

AtlatlA 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 Meet and Greet

Wednesday, May 03, 2017
2:00-5:00 pm, 5:30 pm presentation at Black River Falls Public Library
Adult/Family, Lecture, Teachers, Youth

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 Woodrow White will be giving a presentation at 5:30 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 06, 2017
8:30 am - 4 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Archaeology Center and Laboratories
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

Field SurveyMVAC 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.  Rain date: Saturday, May 13, 2017.  Advance registration required!  Call MVAC at 608-785-8454 or e-mail Jean to register.

Fee: Free admission for MVAC members.

 

Arrowheads, Rocks & Dinosaurs - grades 4-6

Monday, July 17, 2017
9 am - 3 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Wimberly Hall, room 312
Youth

What’s the difference between a geologist, archaeologist and paleontologist? You’ll find out by taking this introduction to the sciences. Check out real artifacts and fossils from Wisconsin and learn about past people, dinosaurs, rocks and the earth. Hands-on activities emphasized.  Cancellations prior to June 30 will receive a full refund minus a $40 cancellation fee.  No refunds for cancellations after June 30.

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
608-785-6500
Online registration at: http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/archaeology-workshops

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

Link to MVAC youth scholarship information.  (PDF)

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

Monday, July 17, 2017
July 17, 2017: 9 am–5 pm; July 18–19, 2017: 7 am–3:30 pm at University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Student Center, room 3110
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

ExcavatingThis 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 and $335 for 5 days. Cancellation prior to June 16 will receive a full refund minus a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 16.

Fee: $350

For registration information please contact the:
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Office of Continuing Education and Extension
608-785-6500
Online registration at:  http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/archaeology-workshops

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

Link to MVAC youth scholarship information.  (PDF)

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

Monday, July 17, 2017
July 17, 2017: 9 am–5 pm; July 18–21, 2017: 7 am–3:30 pm at University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Student Center, room 3110
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

ExcavatingThis 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 and $335 for 5 days. Cancellation prior to June 16 will receive a full refund minus a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 16.

Fee: $500

For registration information please contact the:
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Office of Continuing Education and Extension
608-785-6500
Online registration at:  http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/archaeology-workshops

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

Link to MVAC youth scholarship information.  (PDF)

Introduction to Archaeology - grades 5-9

Tuesday, July 18, 2017
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. This program takes place in the classroom.  It does not include excavation activities. Cancellations prior to June 30 will receive a full refund minus a $40 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 30.

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
608-785-6500
Online registration at:  http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/archaeology-workshops

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

Link to MVAC youth scholarship information.  (PDF)

Middle School Field Experience – grades 5-9

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Thursday, July 20, 2017
9 am–3 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Wimberly Hall, room 312
Youth

ExcavatingTake 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 June 30 will receive a full refund minus an $80 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 30.

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
608-785-6500
Online registration at:  http://www.uwlax.edu/conted/archaeology-workshops

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

Link to MVAC youth scholarship information.  (PDF)

Open House - MVAC Archaeology Field School

Thursday, July 20, 2017
10 am - 2 pm at Goose Island County Park, Hunters Point
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

ExcavatingSee what the MVAC summer Public Field School participants have been doing! Stop by on Thursday, July 20, between 10 am and 2 pm.  The Open House will be held at Goose Island County Park, on the Mississippi River just south of La Crosse.  We will be working at Hunters Point boat landing prior to some park improvements.  Previous investigations at the site found artifacts from a Woodland campsite-flakes and some grit-tempered pottery.  We may also investigate a nearby Historic Euro-American cabin/homestead site.  Links to map/directions to Goose Island and Hunters Point (located 1.3 miles south of the campground office/entry.  Call MVAC at 608-785-6473 or e-mail MVAC@uwlax.edu for more information.

Archaeology Festival

Saturday, September 09, 2017
10 am - 4 pm at Whitewater State Park
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

AtlatlMVAC’s Connie Arzigian will be demonstrating the atlatl at the Whitewater Valley Archaeology and History Festival between noon and 3 pm. Come and practice your skills with the atlatl. The festival will celebrate the fascinating history of the Whitewater Valley. Through demonstrations, hands-on activities and special guest presenters, visitors will be transported back in time. Try your hand at archery or atlatl throwing. Try paddling a canoe or starting a fire with flint and steel. Tour the former camp of the Civilian Conservation Corps and the German POWs who stayed here. Visit the historic Marnach House or take a selfie with Smokey Bear at the Elba Fire Tower. Pick up a schedule of the day's activities at the park office.

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/calendar/app?jsp=/templates/event.jsp&id=52823.

Senior Excursion - Includes Stop at Perrot State Park

Thursday, October 05, 2017
9 am - 5 pm at Bus Trip

This day-long senior bus excursion offers numerous stops including a short stop at Perrot State Park where MVAC’s Wendy Holtz-Leith will discuss the early people of the area.  The excursion is offered by the City of La Crosse Parks, Recreation, & Forestry.  Link to more information: https://www.cityoflacrosse.org/parksandrec/calendarofevents/#event|perrot-state-park-elmaro-vinards-and-fergusons-eckers-orchards|8491

 

International Archaeology Day

Saturday, October 21, 2017
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

International Archaeology Day logoMississippi Valley Archaeology Center is a Collaborating Organization for the Archaeological Institute of America’s International Archaeology Day on Saturday, October 21, 2017.  For more information about the day visit: http://www.archaeological.org/archaeologyday.

Prehistoric Technology Day

Saturday, October 28, 2017
10 am - 2 pm at Perrot State Park, Trempealeau, WI
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

In conjunction with International Archaeology Day the UWL Archaeology & Anthropology Club will be hosting a Prehistoric Technology Day.  The event will include atlatl throwing, flintknapping, pottery making, pottery firing, and pumpkin carving using flakes/stone tools.  This event is open to the public.

Annual Awards and Lecture – Great Lakes Shipwrecks of Wisconsin

Thursday, November 02, 2017
Social 6:30 pm, Awards 7 pm, Lecture 7:30 pm at UWL Student Union, room 3310
Lecture

Tamara ThomsenTamara Thomsen

Dive into the history hidden beneath the waves with Wisconsin Historical Society's maritime archaeologist, Tamara Thomsen. Explore Wisconsin's Great Lakes shipwrecks through underwater video, historic photographs and archaeological discoveries! Learn how the Wisconsin Historical Society documents these time capsules of our maritime past. Call MVAC at 608-785-6473 or e-mail mvac@uwlax.edu for more information.