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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Archaeology Terms

Yellowware Rockingham Baker

February 21, 2019

A distinctive type of decoration called Rockingham was produced by adding manganese brown glaze to the basic yellowware, resulting in a tortoiseshell effect. This glaze was dipped or spattered onto a revolving piece of yellowware, which caused it to streak and…

Clay Pipe – Woodland – Sand Lake Archaeological District

January 24, 2019

These fragments of at least one grit-tempered clay pipe were recovered from several locations during 2008 excavations in the Sand Lake Archaeological District north of La Crosse, Wisconsin. They include the base of the stem, mid-stem fragments, and a bowl fragment…

Woven Bag

January 17, 2019

This woven bag was recovered from an area rockshelter. Pottery associated with the bag and the natural fibers (nettle) used to make the bag suggest an association with late precontact Oneota tradition. Perishable items such as this are rarely preserved…

Catfish Cleithrums

January 3, 2019

The largest species of catfish in the Upper Mississippi River is commonly called the mudcat or flathead catfish (scientific name, Pylodictis olivaris), which can weigh more than 100 pounds. Bones from large mudcats have been found in excavations at many…

Bison Scapula Hoes

November 29, 2018

Shown in photo center, two overlapping bison scapula hoes found at the bottom of Feature 45 at the Meier Farm Site (47LC432), La Crosse County, Wisconsin. These specimens showed signs of use, but were far form exhausted and were probably…

Lanceolate Blade

November 8, 2018

This large, thin lanceolate blade was found during excavations in the early 2000s at the Sanford Archaeological District (SAD) in La Crosse, Wisconsin. When found, the blade was vertical, tip down, as if it had been holding something in place.…

Button – Great Coat

November 1, 2018

One “Great Coat” military button was recovered in 2006 from an early 1830s into the 1840s privy in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. The Great Coat button has an eagle and the letters “U.S.” on it and was generally associated with…