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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center


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.

What type are you interested in?


What time period?

    Historic Indian Agency House – Archaeology Dig

    Saturday, July 18, 2020
    Sunday, July 19, 2020
    10 am - 4 pm at The Historic Indian Agency House, Portage, WI
    Adult/Family, Teachers, Youth

    The Historic Indian Agency House is in hot pursuit of the hottest place on the hillside this summer: the 1830s agency blacksmith shop. An archaeological excavation which had originally been scheduled for June has now been rescheduled to take place July 18-19 and 25-26 from 10 am to 4 pm each day. Dr. Constance Arzigian, a research archaeologist with the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center and a senior lecturer in archaeology and anthropology at UW-LaCrosse, will lead the dig in July.

    The public is invited to participate right alongside the archaeologists. Live blacksmithing demonstrations are also being planned for those weekends for spectators to enjoy. Adults and children ages five and up with the direct supervision of a responsible adult are welcomed to try their hand at a variety of tasks from digging to screening and more. Participants will be guided through a 15-minute “Archaeology Boot Camp” to prepare them before they roll up their sleeves to help excavate the site’s buried history.

    A Historic Indian Agency House membership is required to participate in the dig. Memberships may be purchased ahead of time or at the door. The cost is $15 for an individual or $36 for a family. Memberships also include free admission to all on-site events during the 2020 season and a free tour which may be taken either in person or in a live virtual format. The public may spectate for free. However, since social distancing will be observed during the event, those with memberships will take precedence if visitor numbers must be limited at any given time.

    Adam Novey, Executive Director and Curator of the Historic Indian Agency House, suggests keeping an eye on the Agency House’s “Archaeology at the Agency” web page for details and updates, especially as the pandemic presents challenges and requires flexibility and understanding on the part of everyone: