- Management Summary
- Research Design & Time Line
- Environment & Native American Culture
- GIS Design
- Archaeological Database
- Archaeological & Environmental Variables
- Model Development & Evaluation
- Model Results & Interpretation
- Project Applications
- Model Enhancements
- Model Implementation
- Landscape Suitability Models
- Summary & Recommendations
- Archaeological Predictive Modeling: An Overview
- GIS Standards & Procedures
- Archaeology Field Survey Standards, Procedures & Rationale
- Archaeology Field Survey Results
- Geomorphology Survey Profiles, Sections, & Lists
- Building a Macrophysical Climate Model for the State of Minnesota
- Correspondence of Support for Mn/Model
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
Archaeological Field Survey Results
By Craig M. Johnson, Chandra Maki, Connie Arzigian, Holly Halverson, Rose Kluth, and David Kluth
Appendix D Table of Contents
D.2 Becker County (1995 Field Season)
D.2.1 Regional Environment
D.2.2 Previously Recorded Sites
D.3 Beltrami County (1995 Field Season)
D.3.1 Regional Environment
D.3.2 Previously Recorded Sites
D.4 Nicollet County (1995 Field Season)
D.4.1 Regional Environment
D.4.2 Previously Recorded Sites
D.5 Stearns County (1995 Field Season)
D.5.1 Regional Environment
D.5.2 Previously Recorded Sites
D.6 Cass County (1996 Field Season)
D.6.1 Regional Environment
D.6.2 Previously Recorded Sites
D.7 Wabasha County (1996 Field Season)
D.7.1 Regional Environment
D.7.2 Previously Recorded Sites
D.8 Wright County (1996 Field Season)
D.8.1 Regional Environment
D.8.2 Previously Recorded Sites
Seven counties, or transects within counties, were surveyed during 1995 and 1996. These counties, Becker, Beltrami, Nicollet, Stearns, Cass, Wabasha, and Wright, are illustrated in Figure D.1. Because of their large size, transects were surveyed in Becker, Beltrami, and Stearns counties. Details of each county survey are the focus of the following summaries.
A five-mile-wide transect traversed the middle of Becker County from east to west. At its eastern end, it continued south to the county border (Figure D.1). The surveyed area falls within the Central Deciduous Lakes archaeological region (Anfinson 1990). This area in northwestern Minnesota lies in the zone between the forest to the east and the prairie to the west (Shay 1971). The transect crosses the Pine Moraines and Outwash Plains, Hardwood Hills, and Red River Prairie subsections. The woodlands of Becker County shift from pine-hardwood forests in the east to maple-basswood forests and oak savanna in the west (Shay 1971). At the time of European contact, the mixed deciduous and coniferous forest was dominated by pine (Anfinson 1990). The region’s topography consists of moraines, till plains, and outwash plains (Anfinson 1990). Prairie soils are found in the south and west of the region, forest soils in the north and east. Historical accounts from northwestern Minnesota reveal that game was abundant in both prairie and forest. On the prairie, bison, wapiti (elk), mule deer, and pronghorn antelope were plentiful. There were white-tailed deer, moose, and woodland caribou in the forests (Shay 1985).
There are 68 previously recorded precontact sites in Becker County, none of which include a Paleoindian component. Five have Archaic components (21BK6, 21BK7, 21BK8, 21BK28, 21BK48): one is a burial/cairn, two have unknown functions, and another consists of a possible Archaic point. Site 21BK48, also known as the Becker County "Red Ochre Burial," dates to the Archaic period (Oothoudt 1995). The remaining 63 sites are associated with the Woodland tradition. Most of these are mounds, but habitations and artifact scatters are also present. Sixteen sites fell within the Becker County transect but none were within the 1995 survey parcels. Nine include mounds, four are lithic scatters, and three are artifact scatters.
The Becker County survey team examined 20 parcels, nine in the western end, seven in the eastern end, and four in the central portion. Because of inclement weather at the end of the fall field season, the Becker County survey was not completed. Eight 40-acre parcels were subjected to pedestrian survey, and 12 10-acre parcels were shovel tested. Figure D.2 shows the approximate location of the survey parcels, and Table D.1 summarizes the cultural material recovered during the survey.
The six sites found in Becker County are near water sources, such as wetlands, rivers, or lakes. Only one contained diagnostic artifacts; these cultural materials are inventoried in Table D.1. In the following brief discussion, the sites are grouped by geographic landform and by site type.
Four of the six sites are in western Becker County. One, 21BK45, is situated on a north-projecting peninsula at the south end of Stinking Lake. Artifacts extend down to 68 centimeters below the ground surface. The only artifact at site 21BK70 was located within a cultivated field, about 1000 feet northeast of a small wetland. Two sites are near the Buffalo River, one on the edge of bluffs overlooking the river (21BK69) and the other in a field about 1,000 feet or 300 meters north of the river (21BK71). Both are lithic scatters and provide no new information about the chronology of the region.
The last two sites are within the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. Both sites were on the western shore of the southern portion of Tamarac Lake. Site 21BK73 is a small lithic scatter that extends 60 meters along the lake’s shore. The only site with any diagnostic artifacts is slightly north of 21BK73 on what may have been a peninsula or an island. Artifacts from site 21BK72 are scattered along 135 meters of the shore and reach a depth of 45 centimeters below the ground surface. They include a Woodland period projectile point and Brainerd Horizontally Corded ceramic sherds.
The three-mile-wide Beltrami County transect crossed the area between Lake Bemidji and Upper Red Lake, including portions of the Buena Vista State Forest and the Red Lake State Forest (for the approximate location of the transect, see Figure D.1). The survey transect fell within two archaeological regions, the Central Coniferous Lakes and Northern Bog regions (Anfinson 1990) and two ECS subsections, Agassiz Lowlands and Chippewa Plains. It passed through parts of two major drainage basins, the Mississippi River drainage in the south and the Hudson Bay drainage in the north. Lakes, marshes, and rivers dot much of the transect, and an expansive bog region dominates the northern end. The transect’s vegetation is primarily a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees dominated by second and third growth pine. Historical accounts and modern research show that the forests sheltered deer, bear, timber wolf, moose, and smaller mammals. The abundant wetlands and rivers contained plentiful beaver, muskrats, otters, and numerous fish species, and were used by migrating waterfowl during the spring and autumn journeys along the Mississippi Flyway (Vennum 1988; Warren 1984).
Of the 160 previously recorded sites in Beltrami County, including 48 inside the Chippewa National Forest boundaries, nine fell within the Mn/Model transect. None were within surveyed parcels. The three that contain diagnostic artifacts date to the Woodland period or the contact period (ca. 1650-1837). The nine sites are located in environments ranging from lakeshores to hilltops to bluff edges.
The 63 Mn/Model survey parcels in Beltrami County were scattered through the southern portion of the county (see Figure D.3). All parcels were shovel-tested, as the surface visibility of each did not permit a pedestrian survey. The artifacts from the seven sites found during the survey are inventoried in Table D.2. All seven of the sites found were close to water sources. The following brief discussion of the sites is organized roughly by geographic landform and by site type.
Three of the five sites near lakes are scatters consisting of lithics and bone. Site 21BL161 occupies a long, narrow terrace overlooking Upper and Lower Lindgren lakes toward the southern end of the county. Site 21BL166 is on a ridge overlooking an outlet of Black Lake. Site 21BL164 is on a long narrow ridge overlooking the junction of Turtle River and Three Island Lake. The remaining two sites near lakes are in widely separate areas. Site 21BL162, a small lithic scatter, occupies a small, narrow terrace overlooking the northern bay of Whitefish Lake. Site 21BL163, positioned on a hilltop overlooking a small, unnamed lake, contains a possible feature. Only one artifact was recovered from the site.
Two sites are along the beach ridges of Glacial Lake Agassiz. A lithic scatter, 21BL167, is on a beach ridge south of Upper Red Lake. Site 21BL165 is adjacent to an intermittent stream that cuts across several beach ridges before entering Upper Red Lake. It yielded several Brainerd ceramic sherds dating to the Woodland period. These sherds are the only temporally diagnostic artifacts found during the Beltrami County survey.
The 1995 Mn/Model survey of Nicollet County covered random sections of the entire county (Figure D.1). Nicollet County falls within that portion of the Minnesota Lowlands called the Olivia Till Plain, an area originally formed by glacial activity. It is situated in the Prairie Lakes archaeological region (Anfinson 1990) and the Minnesota River Prairie ECS subsection, with a small portion of the northeast corner in the Big Woods. Water from the melting glaciers formed terraces at a variety of elevations above the modern Minnesota River floodplain and left behind sandy and gravelly sediments in the river valley. The Minnesota River drains roughly 80 percent of the county, while the rest of the county drains into the South Branch of the Rush River. The modern floodplain contains relatively young soils, loamy and sandy sediments derived predominately from the upland till plain, although some formed in weathered bedrock or alluvium. Steep, wooded bluffs divide the floodplain from the uplands. The topography of the uplands is characterized by small depressions, marshes, and swales interspersed with low, nearly level areas. Many of the wetlands that appear on early maps have been drained for agricultural use. The original vegetation of much of the county consisted primarily of tall prairie grasses. Toward the county’s eastern end are scattered areas containing mixed deciduous hardwood forests (Jackson et al. 1994).
A total of 98 (69 confirmed and 29 suspected) precontact sites were recorded in Nicollet County prior to the 1995 Mn/Model survey. Only two (one confirmed, one suspected) have Paleoindian components, and only one has artifacts attributed to the Archaic period. Six suspected sites appear to be Mississippian, and one confirmed site is in the Oneota tradition. Of the 19 confirmed and 20 suspected Woodland period sites, 14 can be further defined. Three have Transitional Woodland artifacts, seven are from the Middle Woodland period, and four have Late Woodland attributes. A total of 18 sites contain 110 mounds.
One of the best documented sites is the Fritsche Creek Bison Kill/Fritsche Creek II Site (21NL63). It is one of the few bison kill sites known in Minnesota (Roetzel et al. 1994). The Fritsche Creek site appears to date to the Paleoindian period, but the site also has a Woodland component.
Two of the 98 previously recorded sites, 21NL19 and 21NL52, were relocated during Mn/Model survey. Five other previously recorded sites, 21NL20, 21NL34, 21NL53, 21NL54, and 21NLg, are in or near surveyed parcels. These were not relocated due to a variety of factors, including post-settlement alluvium, slope erosion, modern construction, and unclear descriptions of site locations.
The 1995 Mn/Model survey of Nicollet County encompassed 135 randomly selected 40-acre parcels and resulted in the discovery of 41 new sites and confirmation of two known sites (Figure D.4 and Table D.3). Forty of the 135 surveyed parcels contain sites. Surface visibility permitted pedestrian survey on 124 of the targeted parcels, and required shovel testing on 11 parcels. One of the 11 shovel-tested parcels had varying levels of visibility, and was also surface collected.
Nicollet County surveyors identified or relocated a total of 43 sites; twenty-two isolated artifacts, six artifact scatters (21NL19 had been previously identified), and 15 lithic scatters, including one previously known site, 21NL52. Six of the 43 sites include exotic lithic materials, such as Hixton Silicified Sandstone, Chalcedony/cryptocrystalline Quartz, Knife River Flint, and Lake Superior Agate.
All but five of the 43 sites identified are near permanent water sources of varying size, ranging from large lakes, such as Swan Lake, to small ponds, to the Minnesota River valley or several small streams. The following brief descriptions of the sites are clustered geographically, usually by specific hydrological features or other landforms, and by site type.
D.4.3.1 Swan Lake and Vicinity
Fourteen sites are on Swan Lake islands or near the lake and surrounding wetlands. Six of the 14 are on islands. Anderson Island contains just one artifact scatter (21NL97), on a narrow rise running down a point extending northeast into Swan Lake. The remaining five sites are on Brooks Island. The largest, an artifact scatter on high ground toward the southern end of the island (21NL104), contains materials associated with the Woodland period. Two sites, 21NL102, and 21NL103, toward the northern end of the island also have diagnostic artifacts attributed to the Woodland period; 21NL102 contains Woodland pottery and 21NL103 has exotic stone material, Knife River Flint. Site 21NL105 is an isolated find near sites 21NL102 and 21NL103. The site also contains a historic component, a concrete cellar foundation located near the artifact.
Six sites are located along the southern and southwestern shores of Swan Lake. Three, 21NL106, 21NL107, and 21NL109, are isolated finds. Two of the other sites, 21NL19 and 21NL52, were previously identified. These were resurveyed. Site 21NL19, an artifact scatter containing Woodland period ceramic sherds, appears to be located on a former shoreline, while 21NL52, a small lithic scatter, is on the southern slope of a knoll. One large artifact scatter (21NL108) contains a variety of artifacts tentatively attributed to the Middle and Late Woodland periods. It is on a rise between Gieseke and Gimmer bays.
Isolated finds were along two of Swan Lake’s bays, Courtland and Sunday bays. Site 21NL84 is on a knoll at the edge of a marsh associated with Courtland Bay and site 21NL99 is between Sunday Bay and Peterson Lake.
D.4.3.2 Middle Lake, Little Lake, Wiwi Bay
Four of the 43 sites identified or relocated during the Mn/Model survey of Nicollet County are associated with Middle Lake, Little Lake or Wiwi Bay. Site 21NL74, a lithic scatter covering portions of two adjacent parcels, is on a knoll above a marsh and Middle Lake. A small lithic scatter (21NL82) is situated in a marshy area of Little Lake. Two isolated finds, one a point with Woodland period characteristics, are near Wiwi Bay. A marshy extension of Wiwi Bay is near site 21NL80, an isolated projectile point. The other site, 21NL89, is on a knoll in a drained marsh west of a wetland and north of Wiwi Bay.
D.4.3.3 Zwinggi, Clear, Erickson, and Horseshoe Lakes
Six sites fall in the vicinity of Zwinggi, Clear, Erickson, and Horseshoe Lakes. One of the six, lithic scatter 21NL77, is southwest of Zwinggi Lake. Site 21NL79, near Erickson Lake, is a lithic scatter which includes a Late Archaic or Early/Initial Woodland period projectile point. Two sites are near Clear Lake and another two by Horseshoe Lake. The isolated find (21NL85) is about 0.5 mile east of Clear Lake, while the small lithic scatter (21NL98) is south of Clear Lake and an intermittent stream. Both contain exotic stone materials, including Chalcedony/crypto-crystalline Quartz and Hixton Silicified Sandstone. Two sites are in the Horseshoe Lake region, one an isolated find (21NL78), and one a large lithic scatter (21NL81) containing exotic Lake Superior Agate and a point characteristic of the Woodland period.
D.4.3.4 Small Lakes and Ponds
Two lithic scatters (21NL90 and 21NL91) are located by wetlands containing ponds. One isolated find (21NL92) is also near a small body of water.
D.4.3.5 Lake Bottoms
Agricultural development in Nicollet County resulted in the draining of many small lakes or wetlands. The survey team examined the bottom of the former Timber Lake and located site 21NL76, an isolated point characteristic of the Woodland period. On the bottom of the former Goose Lake, surveyors identified a large lithic scatter, 21NL110, which contained exotic Lake Superior Agate.
D.4.3.6 Minnesota River Valley
Two sites (21NL75 and 21NL96) are near the Minnesota River. A small lithic scatter (21NL75) is north of the river. A larger lithic scatter (21NL96) is on an alluvial fan near the junction of Ridgely Creek and the Minnesota River.
Five sites, four of which are isolated finds, are by streams. One, north of an intermittent stream and east of Little Rock Creek (21NL86), contains Knife River Flint. Of the three sites associated with permanent streams, two (21NL93 and 21NL95) are adjacent to gorges. The fourth (21NL94) is near the crest of a rise south of a tributary of Eightmile Creek. One small lithic scatter (21NL83) is west of an intermittent stream.
D.4.3.8 Upper Bluff Margins
Two sites are located on upper bluff margins: an isolated find east of a ravine (21NL88) and a lithic scatter between the Minnesota River and Little Rock Creek (21NL100). An intermittent stream is north of site 21NL88.
D.4.3.9 Non-Probabilistic Sites
Five sites are isolated finds found during non-probabilistic surveys. Three sites (21NL112, 21NL113, and 21NL114) are in upland parcels. Site 21NL114 appears to have been in an upland wetland. The fourth (21NL111) is on an alluvial fan. The fifth site, 21NL87, is an isolated find on the southern edge of wetlands surrounding Swan Lake’s Courtland Bay. This could be considered part of the Swan Lake group discussed above.
The 1995 Mn/Model study areas in Stearns County fall within the Central Deciduous Lakes archaeological region of Minnesota (Anfinson 1990) and the Hardwood Hills ECS subsection, with a portion of the Anoka Sand Plain along its eastern border. These were chosen to cover a maximum number of environmental zones in the county. This region is characterized by end and ground moraines, till plains, and outwash plains, all resulting from the glaciers that once covered the area (Anfinson 1990; Sutton 1985). The glacial tills and gravelly outwash sediments gave rise to the county’s soils, which are relatively young (Sutton 1985). At the time of the original land survey in the mid-nineteenth century, much of the vegetation was medium and tall prairie grass mixed with hardwood forests. Today, the land is primarily agricultural. It is drained by tributaries of the Sauk River and the North and Middle branches of the Crow River, all of which eventually drain into the Mississippi River (Sutton 1985). Historical accounts document abundant game resources. In the prairie, bison, wapiti (elk), mule deer, and pronghorn antelope were plentiful, while the forest sheltered white-tailed deer, moose, and woodland caribou (Shay 1985).
Prior to the Mn/Model survey of Stearns County, there were 41 recorded precontact sites, the majority of which are near rivers. Ten sites are mounds, 16 artifact scatters, 11 lithic scatters, and four single artifacts. Only one site in Stearns County has a suspected Paleoindian component (no site number assigned) and one contains an Archaic component (21SN13). Four sites in Stearns County appear to date to an Early, Middle, and/or Late Woodland context. The remaining previously recorded sites are attributed to an unidentified Woodland or unknown context.
Fifteen of the 41 previously recorded sites fell within Mn/Model transects of Stearns County. Only one of them, 21SN5, is within one of the surveyed parcels for Mn/Model and was investigated. No attempt was made to relocate the other sites because of time constraints.
The 1995 Mn/Model survey of Stearns County completed 136 randomly selected 40-acre parcels (for approximate area surveyed, see Figure D.5). It resulted in the discovery of 80 new sites and the confirmation of one previously recorded site. Fifty-four of the 136 surveyed parcels contained sites. Surface visibility permitted pedestrian survey on 96 of the targeted parcels and required shovel testing on 40 parcels. Seven of the 40 shovel-tested parcels had varying levels of visibility and were also surface collected.
Stearns County surveyors identified or relocated a total of 81 precontact archaeological sites, one of which also contains a historic component. Twenty-eight of the 81 sites are isolated artifacts, 39 are lithic scatters, and 14 are artifact scatters. Table D.4 summarizes the artifacts and other cultural materials recovered at each site. All of the Stearns County sites discovered during Mn/Model 1995 are associated to varying degrees with permanent sources of water. The major sources of water in the county are used in the descriptions below to group the sites geographically. Sites within each group are discussed by type of site.
D.5.3.1 Crow Lake
Three sites are in the vicinity of Crow Lake, which is presently surrounded by wetlands that probably were once part of the lake. One site, an isolated find (21SN116), is southwest of the modern lake on the edge of the associated wetlands. The other two sites, 21SN70 and 21SN115, are located to the northeast of the modern lake; site 21SN70 is near the edge of the wetlands and 21SN115 on a former island that is now a small rise surrounded by wetlands. Site 21SN70 contains the only temporally diagnostic artifact, a Late Plains Archaic Hanna point.
D.5.3.2 Sauk River
Mn/Model surveyors identified 14 sites near the Sauk River and its tributaries. All of them are located on terraces, bluffs, or uplands along the river. Six of the 14 are near confluences of the Sauk River and its intermittent or permanent tributaries. Sites 21SN53 and 21SN54, an isolated find and a small lithic scatter respectively, are on either side of the mouth of one such tributary, which is currently called County Ditch No. 44. Another small lithic scatter (21SN109) is near the confluence of Adley Creek with the Sauk River. Near the confluence of the Sauk River and an unnamed stream, surveyors located a lithic scatter (21SN82) that includes a Late or Terminal Woodland stemmed point. Surveyors found an isolated artifact (21SN55) near the confluence of the Sauk River and an intermittent stream. Site 21SN77, an isolated artifact, is by another isolated artifact found near a different intermittent tributary stream.
The remaining eight sites are on terraces on both sides of the Sauk River. Site 21SN58, on a terrace south of Getchell Creek, is an isolated find. Two other isolated finds (21SN60 and 21SN62) are on the same terrace. Site 21SN71, also an isolated find, is on a different terrace west of the Sauk River. Surveyors identified lithic scatters ( 21SN56 and 21SN57) on a terrace east of the Sauk River. Site 21SN56 contains a Prairie Side-Notched projectile point, indicating the site’s association with the Woodland period. Sites 21SN52 and 21SN59 are lithic scatters on terraces west of the river.
D.5.3.3 Spunk Creek
Surveyors for Mn/Model identified four sites along Spunk Creek or its tributaries in northeast Stearns County. Sites 21SN72 and 21SN73 are near the confluence of an unnamed tributary and Spunk Creek. Both sites are isolated finds, but the Prairie Side-Notched projectile point at 21SN73 is attributed to the Woodland period. Northeast of sites 21SN72 and 21SN73, surveyors found an isolated Late or Terminal Woodland point near Spunk Creek itself. Near the confluence of another unnamed tributary and Spunk Creek, surveyors identified a small lithic scatter (21SN108).
D.5.3.4 Plum Creek
Eight sites were identified in the vicinity of Plum Creek. Four of the eight sites are at inlets or outlets of Plum Creek and its lakes. Site 21SN85 is an artifact scatter found near the outlet of Dallas Lake into Plum Creek. Diagnostic artifacts recovered from the site include a Brainerd ceramic sherd. An isolated find (21SN8) is near Dallas Lake and Plum Creek, close to the uplands west of the creek. Surveyors identified a small lithic scatter (21SN86) near the inlet to Feldges Lake. A second small lithic scatter (21SN91) is near the outlet of Maria Lake into Plum Creek.
The remaining four sites are on points or peninsulas near two lakes drained by Plum Creek. Two sites, an isolated find (21SN42) and a small lithic scatter (21SN83), are on point/peninsula features on the southern shore of Crooked Lake. A small artifact scatter (21SN90) and a small lithic scatter (21SN92) are located on two peninsulas into Maria Lake.
D.5.3.5 Crow River-Rice Lake
Surveyors identified a total of 12 sites near Rice Lake and the Crow River, which drains into the lake. All but two of these sites (21SN48 and 21SN49) are found within two miles of Rice Lake. Six of the 12 sites (21SN48, 21SN49, 21SN67, 21SN68, 21SN69, and 21SN79) are associated with the Crow River’s terraces and bluffs. Two small lithic scatters (21SN48 and 21SN49) and one isolated find (21SN79) are on the bluffs. The terrace, containing the remaining three sites, is near the inlet of Crow River into Rice Lake. One of the three sites is an isolated find (21SN69), one a small lithic scatter (21SN68), and the third (21SN67) is an artifact scatter containing a St. Croix Comb Stamped ceramic rim sherd.
Five sites (21SN63, 21SN64, 21SN65, 21SN66, and 21SN81) are located near Rice Lake. Four of these are found on the northern shore of its northwestern arm. Sites 21SN63, 21SN64, and 21SN65, all isolated finds are away from the lake’s shore. The small lithic scatter (21SN66) is in a wetland bordering Rice Lake. The fifth site (21SN81) is near the lake. It is a small lithic scatter located near an intermittent stream’s inlet to Rice Lake.
The last of the 12 sites, 21SN5, is a previously recorded large habitation site at the inlet/outlet of Crow River and Rice Lake. This site may have been along the shore of a larger, earlier Rice Lake, before deposition of post-settlement alluvium. Artifacts recovered from this site include a Brainerd rim sherd, a St. Croix Stamped rim sherd, and a Woodland projectile point. These artifacts, in combination with previous research and private collections, indicate that the site was occupied intensively during the Late Woodland period. There is also a minor Late Archaic-Middle Woodland component present.
D.5.3.6 Horseshoe Lake System
This group of 34 sites is within a complex system of lakes and streams drained by the Sauk River. Five lakes, four small ones (Meyers, Ganzer, Deep, and Flint) and one larger one (Big), occupy an area that was once one large lake.
Surveyors found that an island-like feature between three of the small lakes contains two sites; a small lithic scatter (21SN111) and an isolated find (21SN112). The latter is on the east or northeastern portion of the island. Seven sites are on points or peninsulas. Site 21SN105, an artifact scatter, is on a peninsula north of Ganzer Lake; 21SN95, a small lithic scatter, is situated on a peninsula near the southeastern shore of Big Lake. Surveyors identified five sites on points or peninsulas between Flint, Big, Meyers, Ganzer, and Deep lakes; three small lithic scatters (21SN100, 21SN101, 21SN104) and two isolated finds (21SN102 and 21SN103). The only temporally diagnostic artifact, associated with the Late Archaic or Early or Initial Woodland periods, is a Pelican Lake projectile point from 21SN102.
Six sites are situated near the shores of the southwestern portion of Horseshoe Lake, three on the western edge and three in a cove on the eastern edge. The three western sites included two small lithic scatters (21SN96 and 21SN98) and an artifact scatter (21SN97) that contained grit tempered ceramics. The sites from the eastern cove included two lithic scatters (21SN44 and 21SN46) and an isolated artifact (21SN45). The only diagnostic artifact is a Late or Terminal Woodland point from 21SN46.
Five sites were identified near Krons Bay, which is east of Flint and Horseshoe lakes. One, an artifact scatter containing grit-tempered ceramics (21SN107), is located on an island near the center of Krons Bay. At the southern end of Krons Bay, four sites are on points or peninsulas. Site 21SN110 is a lithic scatter and 21SN112 is an isolated find. Site 21SN113 is an artifact scatter associated with two possible mounds on the east side of the peninsula. Site 21SN114 is a small lithic scatter near the center of the peninsula.
Nine of the 34 sites were situated around the northern half of Long Lake. Two of these sites, a lithic scatter containing a Pelican Lake point (21SN87) and a smaller lithic scatter (21SN89), are situated along the eastern side of the inlet/outlet between Krons Bay and Long Lake. Five sites are to the west of the inlet/outlet separating Krons Bay and Long Lake. Site 21SN47 is a small lithic scatter. Just west of the inlet/outlet are sites 21SN88, a small artifact scatter containing a grit tempered ceramic sherd, and 21SN93, a small lithic scatter. Between 21SN88 and 21SN93, and further inland, is 21SN76, another small artifact scatter with a grit tempered sherd. North of sites 21SN76, 21SN88, and 21SN93, surveyors found 21SN94, a small lithic scatter on a point/peninsula. Two sites are located on the eastern shore of Long Lake, sites 21SN61, an isolated find, and 21SN99, a small lithic scatter.
Three sites are on islands toward the center of the northern half of Long Lake. Site 21SN106, an artifact scatter, includes grit tempered ceramics. The site is on a large island near the lake’s western shore. Site 21SN119, located on a small island, is an artifact scatter containing a Plains Woodland Besant point. The third site (21SN118) is an isolated find on a very small island east of 21SN119.
The final two of the 34 sites in this group (21SN117 and 21SN120) are located on islands in Cedar Island Lake, northeast of Horseshoe Lake and Krons Bay. Both are artifact scatters. Site 21SN120 contains grit tempered ceramic sherds and Site 21SN117 has an elk metatarsal flesher.
D.5.3.7 Small Lakes and Isolated Finds
Of the 81 sites found or relocated during Mn/Model’s survey of Stearns County, only one, an isolated find (21SN51), is not directly associated with any major water system.
The six sites found near small lakes are all in the southeast corner of Stearns County. Isolated artifact 21SN80 is near the northern tip of Carnelian Lake. Another isolated find is west of Days Lake on a landform overlooking a wetland adjacent to the lake (21SN43). Near the shore of School Lake, a third isolated find (21SN121) was identified. A small lithic scatter (21SN50) is located on the only island in Island Lake. Two small lithic scatters (21SN74 and 21SN75) are on island-like features just north of Eden Lake and may once have been surrounded by water.
The parcels surveyed in Cass County for the MnModel project fell within two archaeological regions: (1) the Central Lake Coniferous Central Region; and (2) the Central Lake Deciduous West Region. The county includes portions of the Pine Moraines and Outwash Plains, the Chippewa Plains, and the St. Louis Moraines ECS subsections. Cass County is located in north central Minnesota, and is quite varied in its physical landscape. The area is dotted by lakes, marshes, and rivers, which surround large, flat upland areas, although some substantial relief is not uncommon. This unique physical environment is largely due to the region's glacial history. Many changes have occurred since the advance of the last major glaciation of the Pleistocene, the Wisconsin glaciation, which occurred approximately 12,000 years ago (Ojakangas and Matsch 1982). The area has been greatly affected by the advances and retreat of glacial masses, and these ice flows have carved out the rugged landscape that exists today.
The vegetation in the area today is a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees characterized by second and third growth white and norway pine in association with boreal forest members such as fir, cedar, and white birch and spruce, and deciduous forest trees such as oak, maple, elm, and basswood. During the period prior to European contact, particularly 10-12,000 years B.P., a spruce forest probably existed in this area, with little pine present. This was replaced by a dominant pine forest environment following a warming trend approximately 10,000 years B.P. (Marshner 1975).
These forest environments are home to a diverse number of animals. Larger mammals include white-tailed deer, bear, timber wolf, and moose. Beaver, muskrat, fox, fisher, otter, marten, and lynx are common fur-bearing animals found in this region. Numerous species of fish inhabit the area lakes and rivers, the most important of these being sturgeon, whitefish, muskie, walleye, trout, sucker, and perch (Vennum 1988; Warren 1984). In addition to the aquatic resources, numerous species of migratory waterfowl utilize the waterways during the spring and autumn on their biannual journey up and down the Mississippi Flyway.
There are 301 known precontact or early contact (Dakota) Native American archaeological sites in Cass County listed in the SHPO data base; an additional 217 sites are located within the Chippewa National Forest. Of those sites in the SHPO database, all but 27 have been assigned numbers. Most of the sites are artifact or lithic scatters. Of the remaining sites, 46 are mounds or mound groups. Nearly all of the sites were occupied during the Woodland period, with three and eight assigned to the Paleoindian and Archaic periods, respectively.
A total of 147 parcels were chosen for survey. Of these parcels, only 74 were surveyable. The approximate locations of these parcels are illustrated in Figure D.6. More precise locations are given in Table D.5. Seventy three parcels were not surveyed, either due to physical conditions (i.e., the parcel was under water, the area was developed commercially) or because access was denied or unobtainable from the landowner (Table D.6). Three sites (one historic, one prehistoric isolated find, and one multicomponent) were located during our survey (Table D.7). A brief description of these sites follows.
D.6.3.1 Field Site #1 (Farmstead Site)
This site is located in the SW/4, SE/4, SW/4 of Section 11, T141N, R30W (Random Point Number 85) on Chippewa National Forest lands. A site number could not be obtained for this site from the State Archaeologist’s Office, as no evidence indicated whether the site is 50 years of age or older. This site is situated on a knoll overlooking two marshy areas. Shovel tests yielded two whiteware ceramic sherds, one flow blue glass fragments, two clear flat glass fragments, one burned animal bone fragment, and three wire nails/metal fragments.
D.6.3.2 21CA494 - Field Site #2 (Isolated Find Site)
This site is located in the SW/4, SW/4, NE/4, of Section 6, T134N, R31W (Random Point Number 122) on Cass County-owned lands. This site is situated on a terrace overlooking Mosquito Creek. One quartz flake was located during shovel testing.
D.6.3.3 21CA495 - Field Site #3 (Mosquito Creek Site)
This site is situated in the SE/4, NE/4, of Section 31, T135N, R31W (Random Point Number 82) privately owned lands. This site is situated on a toe slope of a till hill on the south side of Mosquito Creek. Shovel tests yielded historic and prehistoric artifacts, as well as historic structural remnant features. The prehistoric component is represented by one quartz flake. The historic component is represented by two cellar pit features, a medicine bottle with applied lip with "L.L. Benedict Druggist, Wadena, Minnesota" embossed on the exterior surface, and three wire nails. The quartz flake and wire nails were located during shovel testing. The bottle was located by the landowner, Mr. Rempel, who found it in a rodent burrow within the project area. He gave the bottle to our Field Director. Mr. Rempel believes the site dates to c.a. 1906.
Wabasha County is part of a maturely dissected plateau that extends over much of southeastern Minnesota. Portions of the Blufflands and Rochester Plateau ECS subsections are within the county. The Zumbro and the Mississippi Rivers and their tributaries drain the county, with numerous steep valleys and broad rolling landscapes. The Zumbro Valley is between 1-2 miles wide and is bordered by terraces. The Mississippi River has major terraces at Wabasha and Lake City. Lake Pepin, in the Mississippi River Valley, was formed when the Zumbro and Chippewa Rivers deposited large amounts of alluvial material, damming part of the channel of the Mississippi and causing the water to pond into Lake Pepin (Harms 1965).
Prior to Mn/Model survey, our understanding of prehistory in Wabasha County was largely limited to reports of burial mounds across the county. In June of 1996, Wabasha County had 73 previously reported sites or probable sites. Forty-seven of those sites contain a total of 588 burial mounds, most originally reported by Lewis and reprinted by Winchell (1911). These mounds suggest intensive use of the county, but provide very little information about habitation or settlement patterns. The mounds probably date to the Woodland period, but virtually no scientific investigations have taken place. One non-mound site recently identified and investigated, the King Coulee Site (21WB56) revealed a stratified series of Late Archaic through Woodland deposits at the mouth of King Coulee where it enters the Mississippi River floodplain.
The 1996 Mn/Model archaeological survey of Wabasha County examined 85 randomly selected points within quarter-quarter sections, surveying a total of 1683.6 acres (Figure D.7 and Table D.8). Surface reconnaissance accounted for 1652.8 acres and shovel testing for 30.8 acres. Sixty-two random points needed only a pedestrian survey, 15 random points warranted only shovel testing, while eight random points required both walkover and shovel testing. Refusals and crops not amenable to survey prevented Mn/Model personnel from surveying 42 random points, whereas unsurveyable conditions stopped the survey of 19 random points (Table D.9). A computer error accounted for 16 missing numbers within the total 162 random points targeted for survey.
The Wabasha County field season identified 37 sites within 28 random point quarter-quarter sections, including four sites found through non-probabilistic survey; nine random points contain two sites each (Table D.10). Lithic scatters constitute 20 sites, while single artifacts make up 17 sites. Only lithics were recovered. The vast majority of these artifacts consist of chipping debris made from the local raw material, Prairie du Chien Chert.
Most sites are located within general uplands or in a riverine setting. Many are situated on gentle slopes or slight rises and associated with an intermittent stream, while some are found on a bluff top, terrace or floodplain. The following is a brief site description in regards to topographic settings.
D.7.3.1 General Uplands
The Mn/Model survey of Wabasha County identified twenty-six sites within a general upland setting. The majority of these sites are located either north of the city of Zumbro Falls, settled between King Coulee and Riley Coulee, in the East Indian Creek uplands, or in the Zumbro River uplands.
Pepin Uplands. Five sites, (21WB65, 21WB66, 21WB67, 21WB68 and 21WB69), are situated in the uplands between King Coulee and Riley Coulee, 1.5 miles west of Lake Pepin in the Mississippi River. All are associated with either gentle slopes or knolls. Site 21WB65 consists of a possible Late Archaic/Late Woodland corner-notched point tip.
Zumbro Falls Uplands. The upland area north of Zumbro Falls provides the setting for eleven sites. Located generally on gentle slopes or slight rises, most sites are associated with an intermittent stream. Three lithic scatters (21WB71, 21WB89, and 21WB92) lie within 50 feet of an intermittent stream, while two single artifacts (21WB73 and 21WB81) fall within 150 feet. The remaining small lithic sites (21WB72, 21WB74, 21WB82, 21WB87, 21WB91 and 21WB98) have intermittent streams within 280 - 1500 feet. The closest permanent water source for most of these sites is the Zumbro River, ranging in distance from 2 - 7 miles.
East Indian Creek Uplands. Five sites are in the uplands surrounding East Indian Creek. Lithic debitage (21WB86) was located on a bluff edge, lithic scatter (21WB85) near a steeply wooded slope and ravine, a single flake (21WB99) on a bluff top, and an isolated find (21WB84) on a gentle down slope. Site 21WB83 consists of a Late Archaic/Early Woodland Durst stemmed projectile point on a gentle slope north of East Indian Creek.
Zumbro River Uplands. Four sites are found in the uplands north of the Zumbro River. A single flake (21WB101) was discovered on the top of a north facing slope, and a small lithic scatter (21WB75) on gently rolling topography. An isolated find (21WB70) occurred on a knoll by an upland tributary of the Zumbro River north of Theilman. A modified flake (21WB93) came from the uplands overlooking Gorman Creek, a tributary of the Zumbro.
Plainview Uplands. Site 21WB96 contains a single flake located on the western edge of a slight rise west of a tributary of Middle Creek in the uplands north of the city of Plainview.
A variety of small creeks and the Zumbro and Mississippi Rivers furnish the setting for eleven sites. Site 21WB90 is located on a terrace of Snake Creek situated between the creek and the steep bluff edge. A slight rise above a spring-fed channel of Trout Brook contains 21WB100. Site 21WB97 consists of one utilized flake found on a slight rise on a north terrace of East Indian Creek, one-quarter mile from the creek’s entry into the Mississippi Valley. Lithic tools recovered from 21WB88 include a hammerstone/grinding stone found on a small fan near the mouth of a stream junction in the Mississippi Valley. Shovel testing resulted in the recovery of a single flake. Site 21WB78 is located on the second terrace of an intermittent stream. Site 21WB79 is on a valley floor terrace between an intermittent stream and steeply wooded bluffs.
Zumbro River. The Zumbro River was the closest water source for three sites. Both 21WB95 and 21WB94 are located on a floodplain/terrace approximately 100-300 feet from the North Fork Zumbro River. Site 21WB80 is on an alluvial fan/terrace further from the river.
Wabasha Terrace. Two sites (21WB76 and 21WB77) are located on the Wabasha terrace overlooking the main channel of the Mississippi River, adjacent to a previously reported mound group now under the St. Elizabeth Hospital - Nursing Home & Health Care Center property. No remaining evidence of the mounds was visible during the survey.
Wright County is situated almost entirely within the Owatonna Morain physiographic region and is characterized by tills and outwash plains formed along the eastern edge of the Des Moines lobe (Wright 1972). The majority of the county is in the Big Woods, with extensions of the Anoka Sand Plain entering along the northern border. The relief of the county is varied and ranges from humocky to gently rolling, typical of the more expansive Alexandria Moraine region that beigns along the western border of the county and continues to the northwest through the heart of Minnesota’s central lakes area. The surface hydrology of the county is dominated by numerous lakes and the Mississippi, Crow, and Clearwater rivers that form it’s northeastern, southeastern, and northwestern borders. The North Fork of the Crow River flows from west to east in Wright County, draining its many lakes and wetlands. Due to its location in Minnesota, its numerous lakes, and dominat vegetation, the county falls within the southern portion of Anfinson’s (1990) Central Deciduous Lakes archaeological region.
Before Mn/Model field began in 1996, a total of 131 precontact sites were recorded in the county. Of these 73 had been assigned trinominal site numbers. Sixty-one of these sites are earthworks, most being mounds. Most of the remaining sites are lithic or artifact scatters. Nearly all of the known sites that can be assigned with some degree of confidence to a cultural tradition are of Woodland origin; only a few were occupied during the Paleoindian and Archaic periods.
The 1996 Mn/Model archaeological survey of Wright County, during May, June, and July, examined 139 of 320 randomly selected points and their associated quarter-quarter sections (Figure D.8 and Table D.11 ). A total of 3,111.4 acres were surveyed; surface reconnaissance was completed on 3,092.9 and shovel testing on 18.5 acres. Nine random quarter-quarter sections needed shovel testing only, 118 needed pedestrian survey only, and 12 needed both pedestrian survey and shovel testing. Of the 320 random points considered for this segment of the survey, reasons for not surveying 181 of the parcels include: 111 are covered with water, an obscuring crop, or development; at 66 the landowner was not contacted or denied permission; and four are computer or human errors (Table D.12).
The 1996 archaeological survey of Wright County identified 31 sites within 28 random point quarter-quarter sections and two more outside of the random quarter-quarter parcels (Table D.13). Two sites are historic artifact scatters and five are non-probabilistic. Only the precontact, probabilistic sites are mapped on Figure D.8. The 31 precontact sites consist of lithic debris only, with the exception of one groundstone tool. The vast majority of the chipped stone material is Swan River Chert (five of the tools and 35 pieces of chipped stone debitage). Eight sites of the 31 are lithic scatters and 23 are isolated finds. A total of 165 artifacts were recovered; 99 pieces of chipped stone and 66 historic artifacts. Most of the sites found in 1996 in Wight County are located on general uplands. Six sites are located in riverine settings, six in wetland settings, and seven in lake settings. The following is a brief site description according to topographic setting.
D.8.3.1 General Uplands
The Mn/Model survey of Wright County located fourteen sites on general uplands. The following summary divides this group of sites into the four south of the North Fork of the Crow River and the ten north of the North Fork of the Crow River.
South of the North Fork of the Crow River. Four sites (21WR89, 21WR90, 21WR91, and no number assigned) are situated in the uplands south of the North Fork of the Crow River in Stockholm and Victor townships. Sites 21WR89, 21WR90, and 21WR91 are isolated finds consisting of a utilized flake, a core fragment, and chipped stone debitage, respectively. No number was assigned to the historic site that consists of glass, ceramic, machinery, and coal fragments. These sites were on level ground or slightly rising slopes.
North of the North Fork of the Crow River. The remaining ten upland sites found in Wright County are scattered in Marysville, Albion, Buffalo, Frankfort West, Corinna, Monticello Southeast, and Ostego West townships. These sites are on slopes, the tops of hills, or on level ground. Seven of these sites (21WR79, 21WR80, 21WR81, 21WR101, 21WR103, 21WR107, and 21WR109) are isolated finds. These sites consist of chipped stone debitage or biface fragments, with the exception of a groundstone maul/axe found at Site 21WR107. Site 21WR109 is a non-probabilistic site; the artifact was found as the team was walking to a randomly selected parcel.
The remaining three upland sites are lithic scatters. Site 21WR98 consists of two projectile points; a Madison Triangular point from the Late Woodland time period and a Steuben Expanded Stem point from the Late Middle Woodland to Early Late Woodland time period. Site 21WR99 consists of a biface fragment and a piece of chipped stone debitage. Eleven pieces of chipped stone debitage were recovered from 21WR84.
The 1996 Wright County survey located six sites near wetlands in Stockholm, Silver Creek, Monticello Southeast, and Franklin South townships. Four of these sites are isolated finds; 21WR82 and 21WR108 each contain a piece of chipped stone debitage, 21WR87 consists of a core, and 21WR83 is a Steuben Expanded Stem point from the Late Middle to Early Late Woodland time period. Site 21WR87 is a non-probabilistic site; surveyed before the rules changed to exclude parcels if the random point and surrounding area fell in water.
One lithic scatter associated with a wetland (21WR102) consists of five pieces of chipped stone debitage and one utilized flake. The remaining site (no number assigned), is an historic artifact scatter consisting of glass and ceramic fragments, nails, a hook and eye, a piece of a battery cord, and a piece of polished granite. Each of the wetland sites is located on low lying areas adjacent to a wetland or on peninsulas jutting into wetlands.
Six sites from the 1996 Wright County survey are located in a riverine settings within Chatam, Marysville, Ostego West, and Clearwater townships. Site 21WR92 consists of a retouched flake located on the side of a hill as it slopes towards the North Fork of the Crow River. Site 21WR88 consists of an Oxbow, Middle Archaic projectile point and is located on the uplands that slope westward to Mill creek as it flows into Buffalo Lake. Site 21WR93 is a lithic scatter located on the marsh surrounding Mill Creek as it flows out of Buffalo and Deer lakes. This site is consists of over 20 artifacts, including chipped stone debitage, a biface, three scrapers, and one Madison Triangular, Late Woodland projectile point. The remaining three sites (21WR100, 21WR105, and 21WR106) are isolated finds located on the uplands adjacent to the Mississippi River to the north.
The remaining seven sites from the Wright County survey are located in lacustrine settings in Albion, Buffalo, Marysville, Frankfort West, and French Lake townships. Four of these sites (21WR85, 21WR86, 21WR94, and 21WR96) are isolated finds consisting of pieces of chipped stone debitage, with the exception of an untyped Woodland projectile point at Site 21WR86. Site 21WR85 is located on the western shore of Swartout Lake and may have been lakebed at one time. This site is non-probabilistic; surveyed before the rules changed to exclude points that fell in water. Site 21WR86 is located on what was once a peninsula jutting eastward into Pelican Lake. Site 21WR94 is a non-probabilistic site located on the marshy southeastern shore of Malardi Lake; found while walking between two probabilistic transects. Site 21WR96 is a non-probabilistic site located on the northwestern slopes of Little Waverly Lake as the team walked to a randomly selected quarter-quarter parcel.
Site 21WR97 is also located on Little Waverly Lake and consists of one piece of chipped stone debitage and one biface. Site 21WR95 is a lithic scatter consisting of chipped stone debitage, one core, and one scraper and is located on the lowlands to the northeast of Uhl Lake. The remaining site (21WR104) is located on the uplands adjacent to the western marshy shore of French Lake. This was the densest site found during the 1996 Wright County field season with a total of 26 artifacts. Of these, one is a core and the remaining are pieces of chipped stone debitage.
Anfinson, S. F.
1990 Archaeological Regions in Minnesota and the Woodland Period. In The Woodland Tradition in the
Western Great Lakes: Papers Presented to Elden Johnson, edited by G. E.Gibbon, pp. 143-148.
Publications in Anthropology No. 4. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
1965 Soil Survey of Wabasha County. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service.
Jackson, T.C., J.U. Schulzetenberg, T.L. Bovee, G.S. Elsner, and G.K. Johnson
1994 Soil Survey of Nicollet County, Minnesota. United States Department of Agriculture, Soil
1975 Map of the Original Vegetation of Minnesota. U.S. Forest Service, North Central
Experiment Station, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Ojakangas, R.W., and C.L. Matsch
1982 Minnesota Geology. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1995 The Becker County "Red Ochre Burial" Revisited: Human Osteology and Comments. The
Minnesota Archaeologist 50(2):47-51 .
Roetzel, K., R. Strachan and C.
1994 An Archaeological Report of a Limited Phase III Mitigation of the Fritsche Creek Bison Kill
Site in Nicollet County, Minnesota. Impact Services Incorporated, Mankato, Minnesota.
1971 The Itasca Bison Kill Site: An Ecological Analysis. Minnesota Prehistoric Archaeology Series No.
6. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.
1985 Late Prehistoric Selection of Wild Ungulates in the Prairie-Forest Transition. Reprints in
Anthropology 31:31-64. J & L Reprint Co., Lincoln, Nebraska.
1985 Soil Survey of Stearns County, Minnesota. United States Department of Agriculture, Soil
Conservation Service, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Vennum, T. Jr.
1988 Wild Rice and the Ojibway People. Minnesota Historical Society Press, St. Paul.
1984 History of the Ojibway People. Minnesota Historical Society Press, St. Paul.
1911 The Aborigines of Minnesota. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.
Wright, H.E., Jr.
1972 Physiography of Minnesota. In Geology of Minnesota: A Centennial Volume, edited by P. K. Sims
and G. B. Morey, pp. 561-580. Minnesota Geological Survey, St. Paul.
The Mn/Model Final Report (Phases 1-3) is available on CD-ROM. Copies may be requested by visiting the contact page.
Mn/Model was financed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation using funds set aside by the Federal Highway Administration's Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act.
The Mn/Model process and the predictive models it produced are copyrighted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), 2000. They may not be used without MnDOT's Consent.