After a 40 year hiatus, excavations at the Bartron site (21GD02) resumed from May 2008 through June 2008 with new research questions. The primary impetus for this research was an investigation into the nature of the reported wall trench structure (Feature 13), one of the characteristics of the site previously cited as evidence of Mississippian contact or influence in the Red Wing Locality. This structure was hypothesized to be part of Pierre Charles Le Sueur's 1694/95 overwintering post on the southern end of Prairie Island. When excavated three centimeters below the previously excavated depth, the proposed wall trench structure was determined to be feature blur from the tops of at least three Oneota pits. Contexts were separated into primary and secondary contexts. Primary context is defined as undisturbed soil and features; secondary context is defined as the backfill from the 1968 excavation unit (Feature 10) that encompassed the reported wall trench structure. An "interpretive garbology" theoretical framework was used to analyze both primary and secondary contexts for evidence of past behaviors with a focus on reclamation, loss, and discard behaviors. The Oneota pit features examined showed aspects of loss and refuse disposal of primary, secondary, and ad hoc refuse. Archaeological methods were used on the secondary context, which was generated by archaeological behavior in 1968 in the absence of explicit field methodology. It was determined that a half or one inch mesh screen was used to filter soil in 1968; this conclusion is preliminary because of the small sample size. Other clarifications from the 2008 excavation include diagnostic pottery, a Late Woodland component, and radiocarbon dates. Diagnostic pottery from the 2008 excavations included a mix of Link and Bartron Phase pottery and the Angelo Punctated type. There was a larger than expected Late Woodland component, which remains unexamined. High precision radiocarbon dates place Feature Three/Five to circa cal. AD. 1255 +/- 30 years and circa cal. AD. 1280 +/- 30 years. Feature Seven dates to circa cal. AD. 1260 +/- 30 years and circa cal. AD. 1270 +/- 30 years.


Ronald C. Schirmer

Committee Member

Paul Brown

Committee Member

Lori Ann Lahlum

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)

Program of Study



Geography and Anthropology


Social and Behavioral Sciences



Rights Statement

In Copyright