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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center


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…

Domestic Dogs in Precontact North America Societies

May 23, 2019

Origin and Timing of Dogs in North America* Recent genetic evidence indicates that dogs were likely domesticated from a wolf ancestor some 17,000 years before the present (YBP) in Europe or East Asia, and were widespread in the Siberian-Bering Land…

Torch – Birch Bark

May 2, 2019

Remnants of birch bark torches litter the relatively undisturbed margins of the floor of Tainter cave in southwestern Wisconsin. Many are burned to small fragments that were probably discarded. Several larger fragments, including a nearly complete torch, could have been…

Anomalous Globular Vessels – Chevrons or Zig-Zags

April 25, 2019

This vessel was recovered in the early 2000s at the Sanford Archaeological District in La Crosse, Wisconsin. This smaller, thin-walled vessel has a paste that contains very finely crushed shell. It also has a short rim (21 mm) that is…

Stoneware Jug/Storage Vessel

April 18, 2019

One almost complete stoneware jug or storage vessel was recovered during the 2006 excavation of an early 1840s into the 1860s privy in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.  It has a gray saltglazed exterior, with an Albany slipped (dark brown) interior.…

Copper Artifacts – Sand Lake Archaeological District

April 11, 2019

These four pieces of copper were found during 2008 excavations at the Sand Lake Archaeological District near Onalaska, Wisconsin. All of the copper was in good condition. The cultural affiliation of these artifacts is hard to determine, but Sand Lake…


March 21, 2019

During the 1999 excavations at Second Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin sixteen door hinge and hinge fragments were found. Eleven hinges were recovered in the Officers’ Quarters, three were recovered in the Enlisted Men’s Quarters, and two in…