2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (9–12 October 2011)
418 Saturday, 8 October 2011
8:30 AM-6:00 PM, Minneapolis Convention Center: Ballroom A Foyer, 2nd Ave. Entrance

Application of Lidar and Geophysics to Archeological Investigations in the Upper Mississippi River Valley **CANCELLED**

Primary Leader: Ronald C. Schirmer
Leader(s): Chad Wittkop
Field Trip Description: The geology and geomorphology of Prairie Island and the Red Wing area of the Upper Mississippi River valley created a microregion harboring diverse and abundant resources that made it a nexus for prehistoric Native American habitation. In this location, the Mississippi River and numerous tributaries feed into the head of Lake Pepin, and seven major villages, many smaller villages, and thousands of burial mounds are perched on the edges of outwash terraces adjacent to extensive floodplains and backwaters. Between A.D. 800 and 1300, people from across the entire Midcontinent visited Red Wing and formed a unique local culture that blended parts of other cultures. The result, called the Silvernale Mississippian Phase, remains one of the most intensively studies aspects of Minnesota’s native past. Although there is evidence that people lived here for around 11,000 years before the Silvernale Phase, intensive occupation of the area did not occur until the Mississippi’s delta into Lake Pepin prograded past the southern tip of Prairie Island. This event triggered extensive tributary floodplain development that created not only land ideal for agriculture, but also for important wild plant and animal resources. Similarly, deep incision into Paleozoic bedrock provided access to lithic resources for making tools, and valley backflood deposits yielded extensive clay resources used for making pottery. We will visit field sites where LIDAR imagery has been successfully used to detect cultural and geomorphic features of interest. Select geophysical (resistivity) survey records will also be discussed in context of cultural and geological process.
Field Trip will span: 1 day

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