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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Archaeology Terms

Mississippian Sherds – Sand Lake Archaeological District

October 3, 2019

An assemblage of Mississippian ceramics (A.D. 1100-1200) excavated in 2008 from the Sand Lake Archaeological District, La Crosse County, Wisconsin. Top row: Examples of semi-rolled rims. Middle row: Probable Ramey Incised body sherd that is blackened with a burnished exterior…

Percussion Caps

September 26, 2019

Two different types of percussion caps were recovered during the 1999 excavations at Second Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The first type , found in the Enlisted Men’s Quarters, is a cap with ribbed or corrugated sides known…

Pipestone Pipe Bowl – Sanford Archaeological District

September 12, 2019

An almost complete pipe bowl fragment of deep red pipestone was found during excavations in the early 2000s at the Sanford Archaeological District in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The front of the bowl is intact, as are portions of the sides.…

Copper Serpent

August 8, 2019

This unusual serpent pendent was found in the early 2000s during excavations at the Sanford Archaeological District in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It is made of sheet copper hammered to a thickness of only .6 mm. The overall piece is 26.5…

Pearlware Transfer Print Platter

July 25, 2019

Fragments of at least 49 pearlware vessels were recovered during the 1999 excavations at Second Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. These included undecorated pearlware vessels along with decorations such as transfer print, hand painted, annular designed, and edged…

Bird – Carved Shale-Like Stone

July 18, 2019

The area’s earliest inhabitants used many different materials for art, but in Wisconsin wood, leather and basketry have not survived. Pictured is a carved shale-like stone bird recovered from an Oneota habitation site located north of La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Elk Pelvis with Embedded Projectile Point

July 11, 2019

Preston Rockshelter in Grant County, Wisconsin, was partially excavated by the late Harris A. Palmer and students from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville in the 1960s. Several thousand animal remains from the site were analyzed in the mid-1970s and recently published in The Wisconsin Archeologist*. Shown here…

Food Utensil

June 20, 2019

During the 1999 excavations at Second Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, 31 food utensils were found in the Enlisted Men’s Quarters, the Boardwalk outside the Enlisted Men’s Quarters, the Officers’ Quarters, and the privy. Of the utensils found, 17…

Pipestone Pipe Stem

June 6, 2019

In 2006, a pipe stem made of red pipestone was found in an early 1830s to 1840s privy in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. It does not appear to be Minnesota catlinite or Barron County pipestone, but rather seems to be…