People who desire to explore for local pre-Columbian cultures will soon have an opportunity to do so.
The Sanford Museum will be holding an archeological field school from June 13 through 24, conducting excavations at the Crocker Site near Washta.
Recorded in the early 1960s, this habitation site has both Late Woodland and Great Oasis components. Surface collections have yielded Lake Benton ware and typical Great Oasis ceramics as well as a variety of stone tools and part of a catlinite pipe.
These sites typically have storage features and hearths. Though rare, there is also potential for finding remains of house structures.
The Great Oasis culture is found across a broad region in the Prairie Plains and is of particular interest in this year's field school. The site is of importance because the Great Oasis had diverse agricultural systems in which maize agriculture becomes increasingly important. It is also a time period when long distance exchange with Mississippian communities is possible established.
The field school is sponsored by the Sanford Museum and the Sanford Museum Association. It is open to the public (18 years or older, or accompanied by an adult), no previous experience is necessary.
There is a $15 per day fee and participants are asked to commit to at least three consecutive days. People will not only be excavating but will also be introduced to basic method and theory used in archeology and introduced to the local prehistory.
Those wanting to participate may call 225-3922 by Friday. Those wishing to view the field school in progress may stop by the museum for directions to the site.