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The following videos were reviewed by teachers participating in the Eisenhower Professional Development and Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title II grants. 

Click here for information about purchasing the following videos directly from Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center.


Title: Archaeology at Perrot State Park
Written and directed by: Wayne Abler
Executive producer: Ernie Boszhardt, Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center
Produced by: Jim Jorstad, ETC (Educational Television Center at UW-La Crosse)
Publication date: 1996
Duration: 24 minutes
Grade levels: 4-12
Submitted by: Scott Lee

This video was very good for several reasons. It could be used as an excellent resource for learning just what is involved in a dig itself. The entire process from researching the potential for a dig site, to the actual dig itself, is covered in detail. Reasons why a site is chosen (based on previous knowledge of a particular area), historical writings, and evidence of artifacts are discussed. The video also "walks" you through the process of the dig itself. The gridding of the site, the use of heavier equipment such as a backhoe, as well as the tedious aspects of slowly scraping away of the layers are shown.

The actual digs performed at Perrot State Park were of special interest. Besides the fact that the digs take place right here in western Wisconsin, the video also dealt with two distinct time periods. One was a prehistoric site dating back to about 2000 BC when the area was inhabited by the Hopewell Indians. (There was evidence uncovered of nomadic cultures as far back as 8000 BC, but villages from about 2000 BC).

Another dig discussed in detail in the video dealt with the time period of the mid 1600ís through the mid 1700ís. These historical digs centered around finding Nicholas Perrotís Post. Although no strong evidence was found, much was learned about Perrotís occupation and the history of his time here. There was also evidence found of a later explorer, Renee Linctot, who occupied the area around 1730.

This was an excellent video, especially for anyone teaching in western Wisconsin and is familiar at all with Perrot State Park.. The video was filmed very professionally, deals with a dig that was done quite recently (mid 1990ís), and could be used as a valuable educational tool in a variety of aspects. It could definitely be used with 4th graders on up and would work well in both the study of Wisconsin and United States history, as well as a supplement to a unit on the basics of archaeology. As a fifth grade teacher, I know that I would definitely want to use this video.

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Title: Midway Village - A Vision of the Past
Produced and directed by: Jim A. Jorstad
Publisher: Studio A Teleproductions. In cooperation with Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center (MVAC) and The Wisconsin Humanities Committee
Duration: Approximately 29 minutes
Publication date: 1989
Grade level: Grades 4-12
Submitted by: Jo Ann Goodall-Twidt

This video takes the audience through the discovery of an ancient Oneota village in the present day area of Onalaska, Wisconsin. Through out the video the onsite archaeologists describe the rich history of this site and the ancient remains that were discovered since the original digging started in 1919. This video also describes the many important reasons why the Oneota settled here and called this area their home. The design on one of the potsherds, found at the digging site, leads the local archaeologists to believe the site was inhabited by the Oneota culture as early as 1250 A.D.

This is an interesting video from the standpoint that it shows how rich the ancient history of the Oneota culture is in our area. A variety of ages would find this video intriguing because of its location. The video also helps the viewers to realize how important archaeological digs are to our understanding of this ancient culture. The viewer will also gain an understanding and an appreciation of the important work the archaeologist has in the careful examination and interpretation of the remains. This video offers a valuable cultural and archaeological experience to the viewers.

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Title: Mounds of the Upper Mississippi Valley
Written and directed by: Wayne Abler
Executive producer: Ernie Boszhardt, Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center
Produced by: Jim Jorstad, ETC (Educational Television Center at UW-La Crosse)
Publication date: 1997
Duration: 18 minutes
Grade levels: 4-12
Submitted by: Cindy Bird

This is an informative video discussing the existing mounds that been discovered in Wisconsin. It was created by the University of La Crosse Mississippi Valley Archeology Center. The video gives an overview of the debate concerning whether the mounds were created by the Indians, or by another more advanced culture. (Early settlers didnít believe the Indians were capable of such amazing creations.) It chronicles the exploration of mounds from the 1800ís to present day, highlighting the archeologists most responsible for studying the mounds in Wisconsin. With the use of still photography and live interviews, it explores how archaeologists use scientific evidence to learn more about the Native American cultures of the upper Mississippi River valley.

This video was easy to understand and follow. Colorful, still photography was used to show the types of mounds, artifacts that have been found, and people responsible for early exploration. Live interviews were also conducted which connect archeology with present-day work that is still going on. The narratorís voice is well modulated, clear, and pleasant to listen to. The sound quality and clarity of the video is excellent. The video was shown to my fourth-graders. The majority of students enjoyed it. It is age appropriate for grades 4-12.

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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
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All material Copyright © 2000-2014 Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

*MVAC Educational Programs are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
*This project was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.