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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Archaeology Terms

Line Level Uses

January 21, 2021

Long before the arrival of laser levels and GPS, archaeologists used this simple, handy device to create a horizontal line for measuring. The “line level” shown in the photo (upper left) is a bubble level that hangs from a string.…

Oneota, Vessel 69 – Sanford Archaeological District

January 14, 2021

Oneota Vessel 69 was recovered during excavations in the early 2000s at the Sanford Archaeological District in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  Vessel 69 has nested chevrons below a shallow cross. An oblique tool trail panel is present on one side of…

Flotation – Videos

January 7, 2021

Cynthia A. Kocik, MVAC Research Intern, highlights a method archaeologists use to recover very small items from archaeological sites in two videos. Flotation: The Basics gives a brief overview of the process.  Flotation: Step by Step provides an in depth…

Ridged Agricultural Fields – Sand Lake

December 31, 2020

The Sand Lake agricultural ridged field complex, identified by MVAC archaeologists in 1982, was a spectacular Oneota site in La Crosse County with many acres of buried, preserved Oneota ridged fields (Boszhardt et al. 1985; Gallagher et al. 1985). The…

TD Pipe – Lessard

December 24, 2020

This pipe was recovered during the 2006 excavation of an early 1840s-1860s privy at the Lessard site in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The pipe is marked with a “TD,” with the T and D spaced rather far apart. TD-marked pipes…

Woodland Pottery – Sand Lake Archaeological District

December 17, 2020

This Woodland pot was recovered in 1984 from the Sand Lake Archaeological District, located north of La Crosse, Wisconsin. It is grittempered and has a row of punctations. Incised lines border zones of multiple cord-wrapped stick impressions and on the…

Bail Out

December 10, 2020

Archaeologists face many challenges in keeping an excavation secure while unit profiles and partially excavated pit-type features are exposed, often for days or weeks. Heavy rain is notorious for causing collapsed profiles and other damage to in-progress excavations. The most…

Mano and Metate – Video

December 3, 2020

Cynthia A. Kocik, MVAC Research Intern, highlights grinding tools called mano and metate that were used to grind plant foods such as corn, nuts, and seeds into meal or flour.

Metate and Mano – Video

December 3, 2020

Cynthia A. Kocik, MVAC Research Intern, highlights grinding tools called mano and metate that were used to grind plant foods such as corn, nuts, and seeds into meal or flour.

Dime – Second Fort Crawford

November 26, 2020

During the 1999 excavations at Second Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, a 1830 Liberty Head, Capped Bust dime was found in the Boardwalk outside the Enlisted Men’s Quarters. First used in 1809, the Liberty Head, Capped Bust dime…