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Past Cultures

Point Guide
Pre-European People
Specific Sites
Native Knowledge
Mound Maintenance

Oneota pottery

The human story of western Wisconsin spans 12,000 years, from the first Native Americans to today's diverse rural and urban populations.  Over the past one hundred years, archaeologists have recorded and investigated thousands of sites left by western Wisconsin's earlier inhabitants.  Through the study of these sites and their accompanying artifacts archaeologists are working to reconstruct the unique and changing lifeways of the region's early inhabitants.  Visit the links shown at the left to learn what archaeologists have discovered about how these early inhabitants lived in the region we now call western Wisconsin.

The Point Guide will help you learn how archaeologists identify projectile points.  Information about preserving cultural resources can be found on the  Stewardship page.  

The Pre-European People Section provides an overview of Wisconsin's first inhabitants.

The Specific Sites Section allows you to explore some of the sites that the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center has investigated.  These sites represent just a few of the many sites MVAC has worked on since its beginning in 1982.  There is a major section on rock art.  Investigations at Trempealeau in the 1920 and 1990's are discussed.  Descriptions of project involving the public include La Crosse County, Krause, and Second Ft. Crawford.  Pages provide an overview of Silver Mound and MVAC's work at Seventh Street.

The Native Knowledge section provides information about connections between the archaeological records and historic and contemporary Native People.  Native Voices section contains excerpts from interviews with Ho Chunk tribal members.  It provides easy access to the interviews that are otherwise located in several different sections of MVAC's web site.  The Artists section explores possible links between pre-European craftspeople and contemporary Native American artists.  The Games section looks at archaeological, ethnographic and archival information related to Native American games.

The Experimental Section provides information on current research designed to explore, understand and bridge the past and the present.  The Native American gardens and plant processing section shows the experimental garden  planted at the UW-L Archaeology Center and Laboratories and the processing of the plants and produce harvested from the garden.  The Technologies section explores how the area's first inhabitants created stone tools, ceramics and artifacts from copper and catlinite.  The Replicas section shows the process of making resin replicas from actual artifacts.  

The Mound Maintenance section provides information about the Wisconsin Archeological Society’s draft Mound Maintenance Protocol which deals with how to best preserve and protect Native American Mounds in Wisconsin.

The Links Section provides a link to the University of Wisconsin's Archaeology Major.  The Related Links  page will guide you to some additional archaeology related sites. 

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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
1725 State Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 U.S.A.
Phone:  608-785-8463, Webmaster

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.