Image from HUCAS excavation

Research and Projects

Center for Anthropological Services

Grand Meadow Chert Quarry/Wanhi Yukan GPR Pilot Study

In collaboration with the Mower County Historical Society, the Center for Anthropological Services is conducting a pilot study of the effectiveness of ground penetrating radar (GPR) at an open-pit chert quarry in southeastern Minnesota. In addition to generous support from the Mower County Historical Society, and expert input from previous researchers at the site, this project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

Read more at the Mower County Historical Society website 

Item found at Chert Quarry dig

Mountain Iron Cemetery Project

mountain cemetary project of HUCAS

The Center for Anthropological Services is currently under contract to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Lands and Minerals to develop a plan to address risks to a late 19th to early 20th century cemetery posed by the erosion of a disused open pit mine. Watch the presentation at left to learn more about the project, or view the transcript below.

Have information about the Mountain Iron Cemetery? 

Red Rock Ridge Research Group

The Red Rock Ridge Research Group is made up of Indigenous elders and archaeologists that have been researching the cultural sites on the Red Rock Ridge, including Jeffers Petroglyphs, for twenty-five years. We have practiced Indigenous-centered archaeology with a primary goal of preserving the Ridge’s cultural sites and the integrity of their sacred landscape.

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Rock Ridge project, HUCAS

Hamline History Project


Image from HUCAS Hamline excavation

Since 2004, Hamline students have been conducting archaeological excavations on the Hamline campus and in the surrounding Hamline–Midway neighborhood. Excavations have included the site of the Hall of Science (1888–1971) in what is now the Blue Garden, the original Hamline Methodist Church (1900–1925), and a section of the Territorial Road (ca.1840s –1860s) running from Saint Paul to Manitoba.

Since 2013, work has focused on the remains of the home of the Warner family (1881–abt. 1897) located beneath the lawn immediately to the east of Bush Library. Excavation in 2022 uncovered parts of the house foundation and family privy. In addition to excavation, students will play a role in site mapping, laboratory analysis, and public interpretation. Students can participate in the project by enrolling in Excavating Hamline History ANTH 3810, taught during the Fall semester on alternate years. Interested students should contact Professor Brian Hoffman ( for additional information.



3D scans

Hamline's Legacy Collections


Hamline's Legacy Collections research

Hamline University possesses several legacy archaeological collections, which are older collections of artifacts that do not meet modern curation standards. Hamline's legacy collections include some that are more complex to deal with: African and European artifacts deaccessioned by the Minnesota Historical Society in the 1960s, collections assembled by individuals and donated to the University, and items with no associated information at all. The collections that were donated to Hamline include one assembled during the late 1980s, another that was possibly assembled during the early 1970s, and a third at an unknown date.

Another group, comprised of a number of collections that were assembled during survey and excavation projects in Minnesota between the 1970s and 1990s, were accessioned (officially made part of the collections an institution owns) at Hamline largely because during this period, Professor Barbara O'Connell was the assistant to the state archaeologist and, at that time, the Twin Cities office of the state archaeologist was based out of Hamline. These collections are in better shape, and typically have some associated excavation notes or a catalog, which refers to a list of the items from a site with identifications.

When we say that these collections do not meet modern curation standards, we mean that these objects are often not properly cataloged, are stored in inappropriate containers (popular examples include baby food jars, sandwich bags, and cigar boxes), and may not even have associated records. Some collections appear to not have been fully processed or analyzed.

Properly caring for these objects involves a long process of inventorying artifacts and documents, cleaning, and repackaging. Some of these collections may even need to be deaccessioned from Hamline and accessioned at other institutions. We are currently nearing completion of the first stage of the process: inventorying the artifacts themselves.

Contact information