Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

Statewide Survey of Historical and Archaeological Sites

  • Project Overview
  • Project Details

Project Overview

Current and accurate data on historic and archaeological sites is crucial to understanding our past and to preserving Minnesota's history for future generations. In fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Office of the State Archaeologist and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council awarded contracts for the following projects:

  • Archaeological Surveys in Steele, McLeod and Red Lake Counties.
  • Plains Village Tradition Study, a study of a late prehistoric cultural tradition in Western and Southwestern Minnesota called the "Plains Village Tradition."
  • LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) Mapping of Minnesota Burial Mound Sites, an expansion of an earlier project using high-tech mapping to document the current condition of burial mounds in more than a dozen counties in West Central, East Central and Southeastern Minnesota that have the largest concentrations of mounds in the state.
  • The Woodland Tradition in West Central Minnesota, a study in nine Minnesota counties of the Woodland Period (roughly 1000 to 3000 years ago), the time when ceramics began to be made, mound burial became a prominent tradition, wild rice became an important food staple and other interesting cultural traditions appeared.
  • Multiple Property Documentation:19th Century Masonry Ruins, this statewide study will look at masonry ruins as a unique type of historic property. It will create a statewide inventory of where ruins are located, classify their function (mills, factories, residences, etc.) and make recommendations on how to manage them for preservation and public interpretation.

Reports for completed projects are posted on the Office of the State Archaeologist's website at www.osa.admin.state.mn.us.

Project Details

In fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Office of the State Archaeologist and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council are awarding and overseeing contracts for survey projects throughout Minnesota.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2011 Chapter 6, Article 4, Subdivision 5, Statewide Survey of Historical and Archaeological Sites.

Appropriation Language
Statewide Survey of Historical and Archaeological Sites. $250,000 the first year and $250,000 the second year are for a contract or contracts to be let on a competitive basis to conduct statewide surveys of Minnesota's sites of historical, archaeological, and cultural significance. Results of this survey must be published in a searchable form, available to the public on a cost-free basis. The Minnesota Historical Society, the Office of the State Archaeologist, and the Indian Affairs Council shall each appoint a representative to an oversight board to select contractors and direct the conduct of these surveys. The oversight board shall consult with the Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources.

Funding Amount: $500,000

Direct Expenses: $500,000

Project Manager

Patricia Emerson
Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Boulevard West
St. Paul, MN 55102

Subject: Archeology History

Administering Agency

Minnesota Historical Society

Board Members:

William R. Stoeri, President
Missy Staples Thompson, First Vice President
Ruth Huss, Vice President
D. Stephen Elliott, Secretary
Dean M. Nelson, Treasurer

Suzanne Blue, Robert Bruininks, Brenda J. Child, Judith S. Corson, D. Stephen Elliott
Phyllis Rawls Goff, William D. Green, David R. Hakensen, Ruth S. Huss, Martha Kaemmer, Dennis L. Lamkin, David M. Larson, Charles Mahar, Dean M. Nelson
Dennis Nguyen, Elizabeth M. Nordlie, Peter Reis, Hussein Samatar, Simon Stevens
Susan Kenny Stevens, William R. Stoeri, Karen Wilson Thissen, Missy Staples Thompson, Eleanor Winston

Mark Dayton, Governor
Yvonne Prettner Solon, Lieutenant Governor
Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State
Lori Swanson, Attorney General
Rebecca Otto, State Auditor

Quick Facts

Project Type: Statewide Programs

Funding Amount: $500,000

Source: Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund

Appropriation Years: 2012 2013

Activity Type: Analysis/Interpretation

Counties Impacted: McLeod Red Lake Steele

MN Senate District: All Districts

MN House District: All Districts

This site is updated regularly with descriptions and data related to Legacy projects funded through the Minnesota Historical Society by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).
Further information about the use and impact of all Legacy Funds can be found on the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission's Minnesota's Legacy site.