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Curators' Favorites: Archaeology

Cast Iron Effigy Mound Model

Cast iron Wisconsin effigy mound model in the shape of a "trunk and arms of a man", designed by Increase A. Lapham, c. 1875. (Museum object #1975.8.12) Native American earthwork mounds were once a prominent feature of Wisconsin's landscape. It...
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Posted October 30, 2008



Paleo-Indian Fluted Spear Point

Early Paleo-Indian fluted spear point found in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and made between 12,000 B.C. and 8,000 B.C. (Museum object #1985.2) Humans have been living in what is now the state of Wisconsin for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence suggests...
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Posted January 3, 2008



Wisconsin's Spanish Currency

Spanish Reale coin from the Alden's Corners Post Office Site in Dane County, Wisconsin. (Museum object #2002.211.8) In 2002, archaeologists from the Museum Archaeology Program of the Wisconsin Historical Society excavated two cellars and a privy at the location of...
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Posted October 11, 2007



Hopewellian Human Figurine

Human figurine fragment made of non-tempered, smoothed clay, c. 100 - 200 A.D., found at the Pine River site in Richland County, Wisconsin. (Museum object # 2004.5.1) From June to October 1998, archaeologists of Archaeological Research, Inc. of Middleton, Wisconsin...
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Posted May 3, 2007



Mystery Pike from Interstate Park

Hammered copper pike from Interstate Park Bison site, Polk County, Wisconsin, c. 1000-4000 B.C. (Museum object #1956.3099) In October 1936, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workmen found a hammered copper pike during excavation of a peat deposit at Interstate Park in...
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Posted January 25, 2007



Lice Comb from Fort Crawford

Bone lice comb from site of first Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, 1816-1829. (Museum object #1997.62.11941) Everyday life at a frontier fort in the early nineteenth century was no easy affair. When the United States Army decided to...
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Posted November 9, 2006



Frontier Clay Pipe Fragment

Clay pipe bowl found at Sheard Road site, Racine County, Wisconsin. (Museum object #1998.236.249) Archaeologists from the Wisconsin Historical Society's Museum Archaeology Program (MAP) excavated this pipe fragment during preliminary test excavations at the Sheard Road site (47-Ra-262) in Racine...
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Posted July 13, 2006



Oneota Ceramic Vessel

Decorated shell-tempered pot from the OT site (47-LC-0262), 1500-1625. (Museum object #1995.218.39) Museum Archaeology Program archaeologists of the Wisconsin Historical Society excavated this Native American pottery vessel from a site near La Crosse, Wisconsin in June 1989. The site is...
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Posted July 7, 2005



Oldest Toast in Wisconsin?

Charred bread slices recovered from the Alden's Corners archaeological site in Dane County, Wisconsin. (Museum object #2002.211.1,3,5) In 2002, archaeologists from the Museum Archaeology Program of the Wisconsin Historical Society were surprised to find what may be the oldest pieces...
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Posted April 28, 2005



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