Clark Dobbs’ 1984 dissertation on Blue Earth Oneota settlement patterns is often the go-to treatment for the Blue Earth taxon. Since the publication of his work, new methods of archeological research have been employed within the field and new data have been uncovered from both Blue Earth sites in Minnesota and Oneota sites throughout the Midwest. This thesis attempts to ask if the modern archeology of Blue Earth Oneota is still comprehended by Dobbs’ 1984 publication. Feature analysis of material recovered from refuse pit features during the 2012 excavation at the Vosburg site (21FA02) was utilized in this research along with a thorough literature review. Refuse pit feature analysis identified concentrations of different artifacts while also inspecting the rate of cortex, rind, and heat-treatment on lithic artifacts. The high presence of cortex on Grand Meadow Chert and Prairie du Chien Chert implies direct sourcing of these raw materials from outcroppings, while a high frequency of Prairie du Chien chert with heat-treatment indicates a specific process of lithic tool production performed at the Vosburg site. Other research performed after the 2012 excavation highlights the differences between Blue Earth and other nearby Oneota complexes. The field of archeology uses an application of taxonomy similar to that utilized in biology, with different levels of specific taxa structured within a defined hierarchy. It is crucial for archeological taxa to be revisited when new and relevant data are available.


Ronald Schirmer

Committee Member

Colin Betts

Committee Member

Kathryn Elliott

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)

Program of Study



Geography and Anthropology


Humanities and Social Sciences

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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