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Landform Sediment Assemblage Map


Minnesota Statewide Archaeological Predictive Model

Contact Us   Mn/Model Home | Archaeology | Geomorphology | Geographic Information Systems (GIS) | Implementation


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Mn/Model is the first archaeological predictive modeling project to develop models assessing the potential for finding archaeological sites both at the soil surface and at different depths.

Landform Sediment Assemblage map

Minnesota has a number of sedementary environments, including large floodplains, extensive peatlands, areas of windblown sediment, and smaller features such as alluvial fans and colluvial slopes, yet few deeply buried sites have been found. With a large number of bridge replacement projects underway, MnDOT needed a means of determining where to survey for deeply buried archaeological sites. Buried sites were such a minute part of the Mn/Model archaeological database that we must consider the statistically derived models to be predictors only of surface archaeological sites. Anticipating potential for deeply buried archaeological sites required a different approach.


Mapping Landform Sediment Assemblages

The Mn/Model project, in Phases 1 through 3, included 1:24,000 scale mapping of landform sediment assemblages (LfSAs) for seven major river valleys, a portion of the Red Lake Bog, a portion of the Lake Agassiz Basin, and portions of five distinct upland areas. Mapping considered both surface and subsurface characteristics of landscape features. Since then the Anoka Sand Plain, the Zumbro River, and remaining stretches of the Mississippi River have been mapped.


Landscape Suitability Models

Landform sediment assemblage data were used to develop Landscape Suitability Models. These models characterize the potential for the preservation of archaeological sites at the surface and at three subsurface levels (0-1 meters, 1-2 meters, and 2-5 meters). Potential is based on age (is the sediment or surface old enough, but not too old) and depositional environment (was the environment sufficiently low energy to have preserved archaeological resources in situ). MnDOT's protocol for testing for deeply buried archaeological sites is based on the use of the landscape suitability models.


Request Landscape Suitability Models in GIS format



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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.


Copyright Notice

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.