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Last modified 03/20/14

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DVD Special - order one copy of all four titles for $50.00


Mounds of the Upper Mississippi River Valley

The Mounds created by Native Americans almost 2000 years ago once covered the North Central United States. As European-American settlers moved west in the 1800's, they discovered thousands of man-made earthworks. We know some mounds served as burial places, while others were built for ceremonial purposes.

In the 19th century, a great debate raged over whether the mounds were created by the Indians or by some other, more advanced culture that was displaced by the Indians. The debate over the mounds, and the myths surrounding them, led to the first serious scientific work in the field of archaeology in America.

This new video examines the study of mounds from the 1800's to present day. It explores how archaeologists use scientific evidence gathered over the past 100 years to learn more about the Native American cultures of the upper Mississippi River valley. (18 minutes). DVD $15.00

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Archaeology at Perrot State Park

With beautiful Perrot State Park in Trempealeau, Wisconsin as its focus, the video explains how MVAC archaeologists are learning more about this area's previous inhabitants. In addition to uncovering information about the Native American Indian Tribes that have inhabited the region for thousands of years, they are uncovering evidence of the first European occupation of the upper Mississippi - a trading site established by French explorer Nicholas Perrot in 1685.

Using old fashioned shovels, trowels and manual labor, combined with modern analytical technology, archaeologists take viewers on an actual dig. The video provides answers to questions such as:

  • when is a site ready for excavation?
  • what clues do archaeologists look for when excavating?
  • how do they expose artifacts without damaging them?
  • how are features recorded and documented?
  • what clues help to determine the age of the artifacts?
  • why do archaeologists knowingly leave some artifact filled areas untouched?

Award winner: "1997 External Communications" - International Television-Greater Wisconsin Chapter. (24 minutes) DVD $15.00

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The Battle at Bad Axe

The mistrust and misunderstandings between cultures have led to many battles in American history. This theme would again be replayed in the tragic Battle of Bad Axe. During the lead mining boom of the early 1800's, white settlers leaped ahead of the frontier to northern Illinois, causing relationships between various Native American tribes, Colonial Britain, and a young United States to weaken. By 1832, Blackhawk led 2000 Native American men, women and children back to the Rock River. Their actions were mistaken as acts of war, and so the Blackhawk War began.

This video features a full cast of narrators, keeping the viewer engaged as the battle unfolds. After watching the Battle at Bad Axe, people of all ages will have a better understanding of the motivations behind these two cultures and how misconceptions can lead to devastation.

Award winner: "1995 Special Achievement in Script Writing"- International Television Association-Greater Wisconsin Chapter. (30 minutes) DVD $15.00

Bad Axe photos courtesy of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin WHi(x3)18222. Whi(x3)38424.

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Midway Village - A Vision of the Past

The Upper Mississippi Valley is an area with a rich prehistoric and historic record, extending far beyond the first settlement by white Europeans. More than 500 years ago, these deep valleys and towering bluffs offered the Oneota culture a place to live, hunt and farm. Now, with the imminent development of a quarry, the site of a prehistoric Oneota village is about to be obliterated forever.

With just a two month window of opportunity, researchers and archaeologists from the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center (MVAC) at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse must excavate three key areas before the site is destroyed. The video takes the viewer through each step of this rescue effort; plotting and planning the excavation, training the volunteer staff, carefully removing layer by layer of soil, mapping, sifting, and washing artifacts, and finally, closing up the site.

Award winner: "1992 Award of Excellence," International Television Association - Greater Wisconsin Chapter. (29 minutes) DVD $15.00

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Title Author Audience Price
A Projectile Point Guide for the Upper Mississippi River Valley Boszhardt Adults $20.00 Special price for MVAC members - $15.00
Twelve Millennia: Archaeology of the Upper Mississippi River Valley Theler, Boszhardt Adults $25.00 Special price for MVAC members - $20.00
Deep Cave Rock Art in the Upper Mississippi Valley Boszhardt Adults $25.00 Special price for MVAC members - $20.00
Minnesota's Indian Mounds and Burial Sites Arzigian, Stevenson Adults $40.00

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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.