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Anth 410: Minnesota Archaeology

Discover the anthropological significance of artifacts that tell stories of Minnesota's history



Humans have lived in the area we now call Minnesota for at least 12,000 years, and possibly more.  Unfortunately our knowledge of the many sites left behind by ancient peoples is surprisingly scattered and fragmentary for most of the state.  This is complicated by the facts that:  1) there are distinct environmental areas in the state moving from west to east, and from north to south, each of which requires different adaptive approaches, and 2) that people routinely crossed environmental borders to acquire resources, trade, interact, etc.  Hence, distributions of archeological cultures tend to be “blurry”, despite some concentration in key areas.  Furthermore, while we have some basic ideas about the artifacts found in different parts of the state, our understanding of the anthropological significance of those artifacts lags behind the progress we can see in many neighboring states and the nation as a whole.  The reasons for this are complex and will be the subject of several discussions.  During this course, you will not only come to understand much of what is known about Minnesota archeology, but you will also become more familiar with the archeology of neighboring regions and some current directions of anthropological theory.

Kellian Clink is your librarian. Contact her at 507 389 5152 or


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