Archaeology Alpha Sites Program: Phase Two
To expand on a partnership program that will provide archaeology and cultural resource management outreach services for alpha sites at three metro area history organizations.
Partners: Scott County Historical Society, Anoka County Historical Society, and Dakota County Historical Society
The grant provided in-depth Alpha Site Archaeological research, planning, and outreach services to three local history organization partners located in the seven-county metro area. Alpha sites are past cultural locations that have been documented from written accounts, area maps, or oral tradition but were never formally investigated to see if they still contain intact cultural deposits. This partnership grant established base knowledge around Alpha Sites while also creating tools for programming, curating, and otherwise working with these archaeological sites.
The partnership encouraged the public to be involved in presentations, assist with research at each Historical Society, or a public archaeology event (public excavations). This study helped to fully understand the alpha sites and their relationship within the archaeological context and history of Anoka, Dakota, and Scott Counties. Each partner gained considerable knowledge of archaeological alpha sites within their respective county; stakeholders were more fully engaged through alpha site history research projects and public programs.
$2,500,000 each year is for history partnerships involving multiple organizations, which may include the Minnesota Historical Society, to preserve and enhance access to Minnesota's history and cultural heritage in all regions of the state.
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Targets were achieved:
The historical societies gained knowledge and received site report forms of archaeological alpha sites within each county. Each count developed and held public programs related to the alpha site project, from presentations to hands-on activities.
Multiple presentations were fairly-well attended, most likely due to the fact that content dealt directly with local areas, however, the number of events may have been ambitious. It may have been more realistic to have fewer events. See list of events and attendance in the submitted documents.
Although widely publicized, we did not achieve the targeted capstone event; it was canceled due to lack of interest, possibly due to a variety of factors including the event timing and location.
It was difficult to do a large amount of fieldwork in the off-season due to the timing of grant cycle.
Conversion of site form submittal from hard copy to portal occurred during the project - ultimately, as the OSA portal is currently set up, we end up completing hard copies for the project, then transferring the information into the digital portal. The current portal doesn:t have a way of printing site forms (something they are working on) - also on this note, we were told after starting the project that the Office of the State Archaeologist will give new site numbers but always retains alpha site numbers as a way of double checking field work and projects - in other words - you may find a lithic scatter, but it might not be THE lithic scatter in the Alpha Site Form.
Grant partners and the archaeologist presented findings at the Minnesota Alliance of Local History museums and other professional conference. Please see presentation slideshow in the submitted documents. Partners met periodically throughout the project to set priorities, share tasks, and discuss project progress and activities.
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