A flake of Grand Meadow Chert being held in the hand.

Legacy Grant Awarded for Grand Meadow Chert Quarry Project

May 31, 2023

The Hamline University Center for Anthropological Services has been awarded a Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant for a project at the Grand Meadow Chert Quarry in Mower County, Minnesota, titled "A Pilot Study Using Ground Penetrating Radar at the Grand Meadow Chert Quarry Preserve/Wanhi Yukan (21MW0008)." This grant is financed with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society. The project is also generously supported by a funding match from the Mower County Historical Society, and expert input from earlier researchers at the site.

For thousands of years Native people obtained chert, a special stone for making tools, at a location near the modern town of Grand Meadow, MN. This process involved digging the stone out of a shallow deposit, creating hundreds of pits across an area covering over 170 acres. Most of these pits have since been leveled by farming, but an 8-acre area with nearly 100 existing pits has been preserved on land purchased by The Archaeological Conservancy in 1994. 

The project supported by this grant will take place on The Archaeological Conservancy's preserve and will apply an Indigenous-centered archaeology approach to test the effectiveness of ground penetrating radar for exploring buried features at the site. The fieldwork will be carried out by HUCAS and the Hamline Archaeology Field School, with support from the Archaeology Department of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Mower County Historical Society, and with advisory oversight from the Dakota Communities at Lower Sioux and Prairie Island.

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