2017 Archaeological Excavation at Mini-Wakan State Park

Post Date: 

Friday, May 18, 2018

by John F. Doershuk, University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist

During the summer of 2017 Iowa Lakeside Laboratory archaeological field school students carefully excavated and documented 14.5 m2 of site 13DK143. Located within scenic Mini-Wakan State Park in Dickinson County, Iowa, 13WD143 is a Prairie Lakes Woodland deposit. Nine students under my direction worked at the site between June 12 and July 7. Much-appreciated assistance was provided by long-time Iowa Archeological Society member and skilled excavator Fred Gee, who dug, mapped, and documented the site deposits for a full week alongside the Lakeside Lab students. Local residents Carl Klein and Jerry Wiekamp provided excellent screening and backdirt management support, which the students and I greatly appreciated. Jerry was a new volunteer in 2017, involved in just the last few days of the project but his enthusiasm was infectious. Carl was with us nearly every day of the field school as he has done the previous four Lakeside Lab archaeology field seasons. Carl and his wife Sharon’s whole-hearted support of Lakeside, its students, and archaeology projects is truly valued! Also deserving of special recognition is William “Bill” Moore, who participated in the field school as a student through the one-week Lakeside Lab “natural history workshop” version of the program. Bill, like Fred, brought previous archaeological excavation experience to the project and contributed in meaningful ways to the mentoring of the four-week students. Of equal importance Bill is assisting in the cataloging and curation of the 2017 assemblage, volunteering time at OSA’s lab in Iowa City following up on the summer work initiated by the Lakeside students. Bill also generously provided funds for a radiocarbon date. Other generous local supporters of the field school include Karen Larson, Gustavus Adolphus College professor emeriti of Cultural Anthropology, now resident on nearby Little Spirit Lake; Karen serves as volunteer local site steward of 13DK143. 

Initial 2017 excavations at 13DK143

Initial 2017 excavations at 13DK143

Lake Benton sherd recovered at 13DK143 in 2017

Lake Benton sherd recovered at 13DK143 in 2017

Tags: 

Keywords: