Minnesota Map
Institute for Minnesota Archaeology logo From Site to Story logo

Sources - Papers








by Clark A. Dobbs


This overview outlines the story of archaeology in Minnesota from the 1860s to the present. It falls roughly into four periods, the first of which includes the extensive Northwestern Archaeological Survey conducted in 1880-95 by Alfred J. Hill and Theodore H. Lewis, when most of the state's thousands of prehistoric mounds and earthworks were still in existence. The second period covers the work of Jacob V. Brower and Newton H. Winchell and closes in 1911 with the publication of the monumental volume, Aborigines of Minnesota. Beginning in the 1920s, prehistoric archaeology in the state was dominated by three anthropologists from the University of Minnesota: Alfred E. Jenks, Lloyd A. Wilford, and Elden Johnson. By the 1960s, with the emergence of the historic preservation movement, the Minnesota Historical Society stepped into the field of historic archaeology. Its efforts climaxed in the late 1970s with a four-year statewide archaeological survey. Since 1980 budget cuts have forced the major public research institutions to significantly reduce or eliminate their activities in the field, and archaeology has become dominated by private firms involved in cultural resource compliance projects.

This essay was first published in:

Benchley, E. D., B. Nansel, C. A. Dobbs, S. M. Thurston-Myster, and B. H. O'Connell, 1997, Archeology and Bioarcheology of the Northern Woodlands. Arkansas Archeological Survey Research Series No. 52. Arkansas Archeological Survey, Fayetteville, Arkansas.

This paper is available for downloading in the following formats:

HTML Version

Table of Contents

A Brief History Of Archaeology In Minnesota:
Alfred Hill, Theodore Lewis, and
the Northwestern Archaeological Survey

Jacob Brower, and Newton Winchell
Archaeology at the University of Minnesota
Post-War Archaeology Outside the University
References Cited



Sources Stories Credits Search Contents Links
Northern Headwaters Twin Cities Metro Area Red Wing Locality

From Site to Story web address
© 1999 The Institute for Minnesota Archaeology
Email us: feedback@fromsitetostory.org
Updated 29 Jun 1999