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Michigan Archaeology Day Coming to Michigan Historical Center Oct. 12

LANSING, Mich. — Archaeologists from across Michigan will gather at the Michigan Historical Center in Lansing from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, for Michigan Archaeology Day. The annual event draws hundreds of visitors to the center each year to talk one-on-one with archaeologists about recent excavations that have taken place throughout the state. The event also includes presentations, children’s activities and demonstrations.

“Archaeology tells us about people and how they lived in the past: what they ate, how they got that food, what they wore, and how they adapted to the environment around them,” said State Archaeologist Dr. Dean Anderson. “On Archaeology Day the public has the chance to talk to archaeologists, look at artifacts left behind by our predecessors, and find out what we can learn from these artifacts. Not only that, where else can you try using an atlatl to throw a spear at a deer target the way people hunted thousands of years ago?”

“Archaeology Day offers something for people of all ages,” said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan Historical Center. “There will be presentations about research taking place in Michigan; activities for kids, such as pinch pot making; and demonstrations such as flint knapping.”

Speakers include:

  • Jeffrey D. Sommer, curator of archaeology at the Historical Society of Saginaw County, Inc., who will discuss archaeological investigation of the Clunie site, a prehistoric Native American site in the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge;
  • Dr. Krysta Ryzewski, assistant professor of anthropology at Wayne State University, who will talk about current urban archaeological research taking place in Detroit.
  • Seth DePasqual, cultural resource manager and NEPA specialist at Isle Royale National Park, who will talk about copper mining by Native Americans on Isle Royale and in the western Upper Peninsula as early as 7,000 years ago.
  • Wayne Lusardi, maritime archaeologist for the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, who will discuss shipwrecks that occurred 100 years ago in the notorious Storm of 1913.

Some 20 archaeological representatives or groups will display artifacts discovered during their excavations and will be on hand to talk about their findings. There will also be children’s activities, such as pinch-pot making, courtesy of Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group; mock excavations; and hands-on artifact identification, courtesy of the MSU Museum and the MSU Campus Archaeology Program; and more. There will also be a flint-knapping demonstration, and visitors will have an opportunity to use an atlatl (pronounced at lattle), a spear-throwing device used by Native Americans for thousands of years.

The Michigan Historical Center is at 702 W. Kalamazoo St., Lansing. For more details, visit or Admission is free on Archaeology Day courtesy of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Visitors also will receive a copy of the 2013 Michigan Archaeology poster, while supplies last.

Archaeology Day is jointly hosted by the Michigan Historical Center, the Department of Natural Resources and the State Historic Preservation Office, part of MSHDA.

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is financed in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on its federally funded assistance programs. If you believe you’ve been discriminated against please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C. St. NW, Washington DC 20240.

The State Historic Preservation Office is part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, which provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*

*MSHDA’s loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit

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