Department of Anthropology


Field Projects

As an Anthropology student, you will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in field projects. Debra Gold and Mark Muñiz have conducted field research at four sites, two historic sites in central Minnesota and two Paleoindian sites on the western Great Plains. This ongoing work provides field-based research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students and allows the Anthropology program to maintain active public outreach by working with volunteers. 


St. Cloud State University is the third major institution to conduct research at the Hudson-Meng site since it was initially excavated in 1968.  Since 2006 we have made several brand new discoveries that are completely changing what archaeologists know about the site.  In addition to finding two new Paleoindian components at the site, our research has also significantly expanded the spatial extent of the cultural deposits.  The research at Hudson-Meng would not be possible without the involvement of dedicated volunteers and students.  The volunteers represent 10 U.S. states, Canada, and Chile and the students represent four universities in addition to SCSU.


The Burghduff site was first discovered in 2005 and contains Paleoindian deposits left by the Cody complex—the same cultural groups that created the Hudson-Meng site.  Based on the point styles recovered at Burghduff, the Cody component here should date between 10,700-11,000 years old.  Excavation at Burghduff in 2008 identified the likely presence of a cultural level below the Cody complex
that could be associated with either Folsom or Clovis groups that are much older.  Research at Burghduff has only been possible by the tireless efforts of volunteers from the South Dakota Archaeological Society, the South Dakota Archaeological Research Center, and SCSU students.

Keefe Farmstead

The Keefe Farmstead is an 1870s-1880s farmstead in central Benton County, Minnesota.  Since 2007 SCSU has conducted excavations at the site during Minnesota Archaeology Week as a way to carry out research and provide volunteer opportunities for our students and the general public.  Although our research has only scratched the surface, so far we have discovered interesting information about the architecture of several original buildings, recovered a wide variety of animal remains, and in 2008 unexpectedly found a cache of bottles buried in the corner of the original barn.  Our work at the Keefe Farmstead is only possible with the enthusiastic support of the private landowners and the direct involvement of SCSU students and the general public. The Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have provided valuable assistance as well.


The Shoemaker Site has been excavated by SCSU Anthropology majors in 2004, 2006 and 2008.  We are studying the community of Lowertown, occupied in the early 1850s by European-Americans who came to St. Cloud from eastern states.  Lowertown homes and businesses were located underneath what is now the SCSU campus area and archaeology at the Shoemaker site is helping us learn more about this short-lived and little-known community.  We’ve found a wide variety of artifacts of everyday life, including broken glass, ceramics, buttons, nails and more.  We offer public tours of the site during each excavation season. Student excavators also have
the opportunity to participate in the processing and analysis of the artifacts uncovered during our excavation.   The Shoemaker excavation has been possible with the help of many SCSU offices, including the Office of the Vice President of Administrative Affairs, Buildings and Grounds, Graduate Studies, the College of Social Sciences Dean’s Office and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.