skull University of Minnesota
Anthropolgy Labs

The Bremer site is located on the southern shore of Spring Lake, which is a widening of the Mississippi
River near Hastings, Minnesota. The University of Minnesota, in partnership with the Science Museum
of Minnesota, has offered an archaeological field school at the site during the summers of 2011 and

The project has two major goals. The first is to clarify the role of the Spring Lake area in Minnesota's
prehistory. We know, from artifacts recovered during excavations carried out by the Science Museum
in the 1950s, that this area was occupied from about 100 A.D. to 1200 A.D. The area is important
geographically, as it overlooks the Mississippi River, and in prehistoric times the area currently
underwater as Spring Lake was a swamp and likely provided a rich variety of plant and animal resources
for Native Americans living in the area. We hope to learn more about what these resources might have
been. Additionally, we would like to learn whether they lived here during the winter or summer, how
large were their settlements, and whether they had contact with people downstream (or upstream).

Our second goal is to teach archaeological field methods to U of M undergraduates. Doing fieldwork
is the best way to learn how archaeological data are generated, and therefore is a prerequisite for any
student who is considering archaeology as a career. In addition, it is often a requirement for graduate
school and jobs in Cultural Resources Management. During this field school, students learned several
different techniques of archaeological survey and mapping, including surface survey, shovel test pits,
and mapping units on a grid using a Total Station. They also learned excavation techniques and how to
record finds, features, and sediments.

Laboratory analysis of the artifacts and sediment samples recovered is ongoing at both the University
of Minnesota and the Science Museum. The project is co-directed by Edward Fleming of the Science
Museum of Minnesota, and Gilliane Monnier of the Department of Anthropology, University of