Week Two Summary

This week we traveled to the Goodhue County Historical Society in Red Wing. The drive itself was uneventful. Once we got to the museum, we met James, the Education and Outreach Coordinator. He gave us a brief walking tour of the museum while leading us to the archaeology exhibit. We spent a fair amount of time in this exhibit, learning about the Native American archaeology of the county, particularly the Red Wing locality, through several pottery reconstructions and wall panels about excavations of burial mounds in the area. (Figure 1).

IMG_3041 Figure 1. Archaeology Exhibit at Goodhue County Historical Society.

From there, we returned to the main lobby to talk to the museum’s curator and see and handle a few artifacts: a metal spearhead, four pottery sherds, a bone fishing hook, a bone awl, and a small, reconstructed pot (Figure 2)


Figure 2. Students explore artifacts at Goodhue County Historical Society.

We were then given free range to explore the museum’s other installations, as well as visit the archives and collections which included pottery, and many other artifacts from post-settlement period. There were many installations, including ones that contained a donated doll collection, described the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940, a display of old dental tools (Figure 3), and an interactive display describing the geology of the region.


Figure 3. Antique dental kit found in museum.

After we departed the museum we attempted to find the burial mound down at the Industrial Park. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful, although we had a nice rainy stroll through the grass.

The main assignment for this week, due Thursday, was the survey site proposals. Using the recent readings, previous research on sites of interest, and our surveying experience detailed in the last summary, each student proposed a local site at which we would conduct an archaeological survey. The two most popular sites were the Women’s League Cabin and the Waterford Mill. We ultimately decided that our initial survey site would be the Women’s League Cabin due to its location, relative ease of access, multiple documentary sources, and previous activity at the site.


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