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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 - The Development of Two Early Urban Centers in Upper Egypt During the 3rd Millennium BCE – The Towns of Edfu and Dendara

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
7:30 pm at UWL Main Hall Auditorium
Lecture

Dr. MoellerDr. MoellerGeomorphological and archaeological data from the recent fieldwork conducted at the ancient cities of Tell Edfu and Dendara provide new insights into the evolving landscape of the dynamic floodplain and its influence on the long-term development of these early urban centers. At both sites it has been possible to excavate specific areas of the settlement that had been founded directly on the natural sand and bedrock during the late Old Kingdom. At Edfu we now know that the Old Kingdom town gradually expanded westwards making best use of the flood-free zone, which can be seen by the newly excavated settlement quarter dating to the 5th Dynasty, being situated in close proximity to the much later Ptolemaic temple. Further expansion of the town occurred during the end of the Old Kingdom/early First Intermediate Period, a time that has usually been associated with political and economic crises that might have been triggered by a short term climate change. By this time the town had reached its maximum northern and western limit, which remained relatively stable for centuries to come. The ancient city Dendara also saw a major expansion at the end of the 3rd millennium BCE to the east of the temple enclosure during the First Intermediate Period, and the new fieldwork conducted at the site offers a glimpse of the organization of this new town quarter in a previously unsettled area. These two examples, Tell Edfu and Dendara, are particularly interesting since this time frame corresponds to a politically troubled period that led to a fragmented state with several power centers. However, from an urban perspective, cities in southern Egypt seem to have seen a phase of expansion during this time. This presentation will also further examine the layout and organization of the respective town quarters at Edfu and Dendara.

Dr. Nadine Moeller is Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology, The Oriental Institute / Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago.

Call MVAC at 608-785-6473 or e-mail mvac@uwlax.edu for more information.

Lecture - The King Khufu’s Harbor at Wadi al-Jarf on the Red Sea and Its Link to the Great Pyramid at Giza

Thursday, March 01, 2018
4:00 pm at UWL Centennial Hall Auditorium 1400
Lecture

Dr. MarouardDr. MarouardSince 2011, a joint team of the Paris-Sorbonne University and the French Institute in Cairo (IFAO), supported by the CNRS and the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs, has been excavating an exceptional harbor complex from the early Old Kingdom at Wadi al-Jarf along the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea.

Considered now as the oldest harbor in the world, it was used for a short time as a departure point to the Sinai Peninsula for Royal expeditions on the way to the regions of Serabit al-Khadim and Wadi Maghara, the principal mining areas for copper and turquoise during the Pharaonic times.

According to the pottery and epigraphy, this massive installation dates back to the very beginning of the Fourth Dynasty. In 2013 the site received a special reputation after the discovery of several hundreds of fragments of narrative and administrative papyri, the oldest inscribed papyri ever discovered in Egypt so far. Some clearly name King Khufu and give important details and describe activities in close relation to the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

This lecture will first focus on the latest archaeological discoveries at the Wadi al-Jarf and then provide a new overview on some of the papyri, which underline a complex organization and well-structured logistics for the royal projects and expeditions 4600 years ago.

Dr. Gregory Marouard is Research Associate in Egyptian Archaeology, The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.

Call MVAC at 608-785-6473 or e-mail mvac@uwlax.edu for more information.

Artifact Show

Saturday, March 03, 2018
10 am - 5 pm at Valley View Mall, La Crosse, WI
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

Artifact Show 2017Come 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.

Night at the Museum

Friday, April 27, 2018
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.  Link for more information.

Wisconsin Archaeology Month

Tuesday, May 01, 2018
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

ExcavationA 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.

Volunteer Field Survey Opportunity for MVAC Members

Saturday, May 05, 2018
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 12, 2018. Advance registration required!  Call MVAC at 608-785-8454 or e-mail Jean to register.

Fee: Free admission for MVAC members.

Archaeology Meet and Greet

Tuesday, May 08, 2018
2-5 pm at Black River Falls Public Library
Adult/Family, 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 book about her father, Gary Steele entitled Alzheimer’s, Archaeology, and the Armed Forces.  The Black River Falls Public Library is located at 222 Fillmore St., Black River Falls, WI.

Temples & Tombs of the Americas - grades 4-6

Monday, July 16, 2018
9 am - 3 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Wimberly Hall, room 312
Youth

Discover the unique cultures of the Maya, Inca, and Aztecs of Mesoamerica and South America. These early Americans had spectacular buildings, written languages, and complex warrior rituals. Hands-on activities will include writing hieroglyphics, making a mask, and more! Cancellations prior to June 29 will receive a full refund minus a $40 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 29.

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 16, 2018
July 16, 2018: 9 am–5 pm; July 17–18, 2018: 7 am–3:30 pm at University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Student Union, room 3110
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

ExcavationThis 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 15 will receive a full refund minus a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 15.

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 16, 2018
July 16, 2018: 9 am–5 pm; July 17–20, 2018: 7 am–3:30 pm at University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Student Union, room 3110
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

ExcavationThis 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 15 will receive a full refund minus a $100 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 15.

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 17, 2018
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 29 will receive a full refund minus a $40 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 29.

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 18, 2018
Thursday, July 19, 2018
9 am–3 pm at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Wimberly Hall, room 312
Youth

ExcavationTake 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 29 will receive a full refund minus an $80 cancellation fee. No refunds for cancellations after June 29.

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 19, 2018
10 am - 2 pm at Goose Island County Park
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

ExcavationSee what the MVAC Public Field School participants are doing this summer! Stop by on Thursday, July 19, 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. Once in the park, take the road to Hunter’s Point Boat Landing. Look for the parking area on the right side of the road near Bathhouse 3 at the southern end of the campground.  You’ll see us working to the east of the parking area. Goose Island County Park map. Call MVAC at 608-785-6473 or e-mail MVAC@uwlax.edu for more information.

Garbology

Friday, July 27, 2018
10 am - noon at Vernon County Museum
Youth

MVAC’s Jean Dowiasch will be offering a youth “Garbology” activity at the Vernon County Museum.  Space is limited, fee and registration required.  Link to more information. 

Perrot State Park - Celebrate 100 years of History, Nature, and Recreation

Saturday, August 04, 2018
10 am - 2:30 pm at Perrot State Park, Trempealeau, WI
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

Throughout the event MVAC’s Jean Dowiasch will be demonstrating Native American games and have artifacts from the area’s early inhabitants on display.  Robert Keiper will also be there demonstrating flintknapping.  Link for more information.

Whitewater Valley Archaeology and History Festival

Saturday, September 08, 2018
Noon - 3 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. Celebrate the fascinating history of the Whitewater Valley! Through demonstrations, hands-on activities and special guest presenters, visitors will be transported back in time. Hike the historic Elba Fire Tower or take a self-guided walk through a nearby pioneer cemetery. Try your hand at atlatl throwing, paddling a canoe or making twine from wood nettle fibers. Check out flint knapping demonstrations and the kids and play pioneer games. End the day with a guided walk around the former Civilian Conservation Corps camp and home of the German POWs who stayed here. Pick up a schedule at the park office.

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

More Information: call 507-312-2300 or visit https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/event.html?id=56342

International Archaeology Day

Saturday, October 20, 2018
Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

International Archaeology Day 2018 logoMississippi Valley Archaeology Center is a Collaborating Organization for the Archaeological Institute of America’s International Archaeology Day on Saturday, October 20, 2018.  Link to more information about the day.

Annual Awards and Lecture – A 40-Year Archaeological Journey Across the Driftless Area

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Social 6:30 pm, Awards 7 pm, Lecture 7:30 pm at UWL Student Union Theater
Lecture

Robert "Ernie" BoszhardtRock Art Tainter Headless HumanLidar Bird Effigy Mound

This public program will provide a summary of Robert “Ernie” Boszhardt's career in the rugged, unglaciated portion of western Wisconsin. It will review highlights of his nearly 30 years with MVAC, including discoveries such as Oneota ridged agricultural fields at Sand Lake, Paleoindian quarry complexes at Silver Mound, Tainter Cave and other rock art sites, and recognition of an Effigy Mound territorial boundary. The talk will also summarize more recent research, including continued rock art discoveries along the eastern edge of the Driftless Area, Effigy Mound discoveries in the Bad Axe Valley using LIDAR technology, and ongoing exploration of a major early Mississippian colony at Trempealeau. Copies of his books will be available.

Call MVAC at 608-785-6473 or e-mail mvac@uwlax.edu for more information.