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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Archaeology Terms


September 24, 2020

These tumblers were found during the 2006 excavation of an early 1840s–1860s privy in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The privy produced remains of at least eight glass tumblers; one was nearly complete, and the rest were broken. All eight tumblers…

Etched Stone Square

September 17, 2020

This unusual, etched square of sandstone was found in the early 2000s during excavations at the Sanford Archaeological District in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  A piece of local sandstone was shaped and smoothed to form a small, flat square, and an…

Chert Projectile Point

September 10, 2020

This chert projectile point was found in 2007 during a shoreline survey in north central Wisconsin. It might be Late Paleoindian in affiliation—it is small for Paleoindian, but the base might have been reworked. The point was on the newly…

Oneota Vessel 44 – Sanford Archaeological District

August 27, 2020

Vessel 44 is a Midway Incised variety lip top narrow vessel recovered during excavations in the early 2000s at the Sanford Archaeological District in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It was found in a zone containing a pottery cluster within a large,…

Medicine Bottle – Lessard

August 20, 2020

This medicine bottle, found at the Lessard site in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, is about 7½ inches tall. It is made of aqua-colored class embossed with the words “Dr HOOFLAND’S//GERMAN BITTERS//LIVER COMPLAINT//DYSPEPSIA & C//C.M. JACKSON/PHILADELPHIA.” How old is it? This type…

Catlinite Pipe Bowl – Sand Lake Archaeological District

August 13, 2020

This catlinite pipe bowl was recovered in the mid-1980s from a site within the Sand Lake Archaeological District located northeast of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Catlinite, a type of pipestone, is a soft red siltstone named after the 19th century American…

Bone Ornament – Second Fort Crawford

July 30, 2020

This bone ornament was recovered from the Second Fort Crawford Officers’ Quarters in Prairie du Chien in 1999.  It has a round finial, is hollow in the center, and is drilled through so it can be strung.

Net Sinker – Sand Lake Archaeological District

July 23, 2020

This small sandstone object was found in the Sand Lake Archaeological District near Onalaska, Wisconsin, in 2008. Its function is unknown. It was intentionally shaped into a barrel-like form with a groove around the middle. The groove suggests that it…


July 16, 2020

This possible military buckle was recovered during the 1999 excavations at Second Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.  It is made of thin metal in a decorative shaped rectangle. This buckle is corroded, so no regimental number is apparent.

Scrapers – Sand Lake Archaeological District

July 9, 2020

These scrapers were recovered during the 2008 excavations at the Sand Lake Archaeological District, located north of La Crosse, Wisconsin.  The scrapers in the top two rows are made of chert while the two in the bottom row are made…