The mission of the Archaeology Department is to collect and preserve the materials and records of human culture relating to Minnesota and to relate the human story through research and interpretation. We promote stewardship of archaeological resources through educational outreach and public archaeology programs. Our research focuses on all aspects of Minnesota's past which includes the range of ethnic, social, and economic diversity reflected in its inhabitants.
The Minnesota Historical Society's archaeological program began over 125 years ago. In the late 1800s, T. H. Lewis and L. Hill recorded thousands of American Indian burial mounds and heritage sites throughout Minnesota and nearby states. During the current century, our archaeologists have worked on sites managed by the MHS and on hundreds more throughout the state. Through this research we have gathered valuable information on all periods of Minnesota history. Our many areas of study include the fur trade, American Indian heritage, the early military history of Minnesota, and the industrial era of Minneapolis.
The MHS Archaeology Department is dedicated to achieving the highest archaeological standards. We focus equally on the two major periods of archaeological significance in North America: precontact American Indian and historic Euro-American. In recent years we have partnered for research and preservation with a number of organizations including the MN Department of Transportation, MN Department of Natural Resources, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and the University of Minnesota. In addition, ongoing archaeological and historical investigations on the MHS historic sites network directs research at the states most significant historic places.
Our department has also demonstrated a commitment to educating the public about cultural resources and the archaeological process through volunteer opportunities and public presentations. This Public Archaeology program has been an integral part of department operations. We provide opportunities for the public with site tours, hands-on educational experiences, and programs for all age groups. Educational resources range from school classroom presentations, career opportunity offerings, teacher workshops, internships and lesson plans.
The staff of the Archaeology Department continues to uphold the tradition of excellence established over a century ago. By working towards the protection of the State's archaeological heritage we continue to provide leadership to assure the protection of the heritage that belongs to us all.
The staff of the Archaeology Department have a broad range of expertise and interests: historic archaeology, historical research, lithic analysis, paleobotany, ceramic technology, statistical analysis, CAD, rock art, ethnohistory, industrial archaeology, fur trade research, and pre-contact Native American heritage settlement patterns and material culture.
Head, Archaeology Departmentvacant
|Patricia Emerson, Program Manager|
|Michael Magner, Senior Research Archaeologist|
|David Radford, Program Manager|
|Douglas George, Senior Research Archaeologist|
|LeRoy Gonsior, Senior Research Archaeologist|
|Stacy Allan, Senior Research Archaeologist|
Trails and Waterways
|Tim Tumberg, Program Manager|
Historical Society Special Projects
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Minnesota Historical Society. All rights reserved.