The Minnesota Historical Society's Archaeology Department in conjunction with the Minnesota Archaeological Research Program (MARP) is pleased to welcome you to internet access to our public archaeology programs. Through our "Windows to the Past " web pages you are invited to join us in discovering and exploring our past. Opening these windows will help you shed some light on what first appears as a shadowy past. Through our research we are illuminating the distant and not-so-distant past to better understand who we are and give deeper meaning for our lives.

This page is also an open invitation to visit us and our archaeological research efforts. Visitors to our field excavations learn first hand and "hands-on" how archaeologists go about their work, what they are finding, and what it all means. The excavations provide a unique opportunity to visit and work with archaeologists uncovering our heritage. For those who cannot visit the Minnesota Historical Society's or MARP excavations, the information presented in our "Excavations On-line" provides internet citizens with updates of our progress at a number of projects around the world.

The MHS Archaeology Department provides an opportunity for interested members of the public to participate in and to gain first hand information about the role of archaeology in understanding and protecting our heritage. Because our work is open to the public, a variety of opportunities are available. Last year over 1,900 individuals visited our excavations and learned about the archaeological program. Public programming at our sites during 1996 has already directly reached over 2,900 individuals.

For over 25 years the department has demonstrated a commitment to educating the public about stewardship of cultural resources and the archaeological process through volunteer opportunities and public presentations of our results. This Public Archaeology program was an integral part of department operations long before the term "public archaeology" was coined. Today we provide opportunities with site tours, hands-on educational experiences, and presentations and programs for all age groups. These programs range from "Archaeology for Kids", "Archaeology Discovery Days " family events, and "A Day with an Archaeologist " immersion learning concept. Educational resources range from school classroom presentations, career opportunity offerings, teacher workshops, internships, and "Project Archaeology " lesson plans.

Media coverage about our programs during 1995 and 1996 has been extensive. Numerous articles in local community papers have been printed while major newspapers continue to provide significant visibility to the program. Television news and public affairs coverage presented the archaeology program to an audience of over one-half million viewers.

Twenty public presentations have been made to school groups and public service organizations about our current research projects and similar programs will follow this year's work. Future updates to this Web Page include locations and times of upcoming public lectures about this and other Archaeology Department and MARP programs.


"ARCHAEOLOGY DISCOVERY DAYS" was an unqualified success! Over 80 children, plus parents, celebrated Children's Day at the Sibley House/American Fur Company Headquarters in Mendota, Minnesota on Saturday, September 14, 1996 between 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

"ARCHAEOLOGY DISCOVERY DAYS " provided an opportunity for families to work with and learn how archaeologists excavate and discover our past. Trenches previously excavated by archaeologists were refilled with backdirt and reproduction artifacts added and features created within the fill. All participants were informed that the units were recreated based on actual findings at the site. Participants dug in the soil, screened for artifacts, and recorded information just like archaeologists do.
"Archaeology Discovery Days" participants

The program is a hands-on learning experience that allows individuals to sense the thrill of the discovery of a long lost relic but also to learn that there is meaning attached to such items. While learning about the mysteries of the past the program helps to promote a sense of understanding about and stewardship for America's varied cultural heritage. Through taking part in the archaeological process participants learn about scientific research while helping to piece together the stories of people long since vanished.
"Archaeology Discovery Days" participants


This page is an open invitation to visit us and our Public Archaeology program operating at the American Fur Company/Sibley House site Monday through Friday through mid-September 1996. Visitors to the site learn how archaeologists go about their work, what they are finding, and what it all means. The excavations provide a unique opportunity to work with archaeologists re-discovering Minnesota's heritage.


1996 Archaeology Department, Minnesota Historical Society. All rights reserved.