Over the last year, Archaeo-Physics, a team of archaeologists, conducted a survey of known and potential Pope County archaeological sites. A public presentation of survey findings will be held on Sunday, November 4, 2:00 pm at the Villard United Methodist Church, 540 Lincoln Avenue, Villard, MN.
At the start of the survey, there were 35 recorded sites in the county, plus unverified reports of 20 more sites. As a result of the survey, Archaeo-Physics confirmed 40 new sites. Several of these are significant enough to warrant further study. A full archeological dig is being planned for one of these sites in the next year or two.
The Pope County survey identified sites of interest using Lidar topography maps. The survey team then walked through fresh plowed fields, dug small test excavations, surveyed lakeshores and river banks by canoe, and by walking below the ordinary high water marks. At some sites, the archaeologists used ground penetrating radar, electrical resistivity tests, and related “remote sensing” technology to examine subsurface features.
This survey is part of an ongoing effort by the Office of the State Archaeologist and the Minnesota Historical Society to improve our understanding of the long-term history of the state. Results will inform our understanding of Pope County’s past, guide land management decisions, and help prevent impacts to places of human burial. The Pope County survey was conducted by archaeologists from Archaeo-Physics LLC, including Dave Maki, Sigrid Arnott, Kent Bakken and field crew members.