Zobeida Chaffee-Valdes

Week 2:

Our lab section on Tuesday was fortunate enough to get down to Faribault to visit the Rice County Historical Society before the big winter storm. The local historian showed us a range of prehistoric artifacts, but my favorite piece in the museum was the topographical map. The map was one of the first things a visitor saw when visiting the society, and displayed detailed information on the landscape of Rice County. Our guide was good enough to explain and point out on the map where most archaeological finds occurred– generally in the Western portion of the map, where there were an abundance of lakes. She explained to us that most Native American communities settled around the lakes themselves, as the Mississippi River was too large and rapid to be particularly useful. She also went into the history of the forestry of the region, and the presence of Bison– previously unthought to be in the region until a man found a large number of bones in the eastern portion of the county! These bones did not show signs of human interaction, but it would be interesting to pursue this research further, to assess some of the interactions between human activity and the environmental history of the region.