MVAC presents 2013 awards and fall archaeology lecture

MVAC logo.The Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center will present its fall lecture and 2013 award ceremony Thursday, Nov. 7, at UW-La Crosse.

Each year MVAC recognizes staff and community members for archaeology excellence, archaeology education, volunteerism and regional archaeology. This year’s awards will be given at a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. A social starts at 6 p.m. at Port O’ Call, Cartwright Center. Awards and their recipients include: Joseph Tiffany, 2013 MVAC James P. Gallagher Award; Bob Halseth,2013 MVAC Regional Archaeology Award; Loren and Margaret Cade, 2013 MVAC Archaeology Education Award; George Garvin, 2013 MVAC Distinguished Service Award.

The evening continues with a lecture “Prehistoric Lifeways through Time in the Upper Mississippi River Region” by Guy Gibbon, professor emeritus of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, at 7 p.m.

Gibbon will summarize trends and themes in human lifeways during the prehistoric period in the Upper Mississippi River region. He will focus on long-term patterns in lifeway changes in this region. The changes are summarized in detail in Gibbon’s recently published book, “The Archaeology of Minnesota: A Guide to the Prehistory of the Upper Mississippi River Region.”

Event sponsors include the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center and the UW-L Sociology/Archaeology Department.

If you go —
What: MVAC award ceremony and lecture
When: 6 p.m. social, 6:30 p.m. awards, 7 p.m. lecture, Thursday, Nov. 7
Where: Port O’ Call, Cartwright Center, UW-L
Admission: Free

2013 MVAC Awards

Joseph A. Tiffany
2013 MVAC James P. Gallagher Award
Joseph A. Tiffany retired in 2013 from a joint position as executive director of MVAC and UW-L professor of Archaeology. During Tiffany’s 11 years as director, MVAC’s long list of accomplishments ranged from improving its curation capabilities to successfully completing a wide range of contract and educational projects, including receiving a 2012 Wisconsin Department of Transportation Tribal Award for Excellence for its work on Hwy 35 in Onalaska.

For the past three years, Tiffany was editor of The Wisconsin Archeologist, the oldest continuously published archaeology journal in the nation, and compiled high-quality and well-received issues. He also served as president of the Wisconsin Archeological Survey, the state’s professional archaeological society, and played a key role in revising the statewide standards used in cultural resource management.

In addition, he has enthusiastically continued his own research in the nearby Great Plains region, crafting high-quality studies and publications, including his popular Guide to Projectile Points of Iowa. Tiffany will continue to maintain the same high standards in his future research in retirement, so the award acknowledges his future endeavors as well as those conducted during his time at MVAC and UW-L.

Bob Halseth
2013 MVAC Regional Archaeology Award

Bob Halseth has worked with MVAC’s Regional Archaeology Program for more than two decades. This award recognizes his continued commitment to archaeology and his efforts to preserve the past. An avid artifact collector, Halseth would often bring in artifacts he found in the La Crosse area for identification and to report new sites. He also introduced MVAC to several other local collectors, thereby helping the center record more of western Wisconsin’s Precontact heritage.

Even though he lives in Madison, for many years Halseth made the journey to Valley View Mall to display his collection at the annual Artifact Show. Halseth loved explaining to the public what each artifact was and how people used it. He enjoyed his discussions with other collectors at the show even more.

Halseth is in the process of donating a significant part of his collection to MVAC. Materials he has donated include points, end scrapers, awls, grinding stones, stone axes, celts, and a bison scapula hoe — all in display cases he has hand crafted. Halseth has also donated an exceptional modern reproduction of a stone blade with all the knapped flakes refitted, reproductions of pottery vessels, 1930s-era pipes and numerous journals.

Loren and Margaret Cade
2013 MVAC Archaeology Education Award

Loren and Margaret Cade have a long history of involvement with archaeology and MVAC. In 1994, MVAC awarded a Regional Archaeology award to Loren for his contributions to documenting the area’s rich cultural history. Loren’s careful recording of artifacts found on his family’s Vernon County land, and his sharing of that information with archaeologists, led to listing of the 661-acre Cade Archaeological District on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

More recently, 70 acres of the Cade District have been protected as Eagle Eye State Natural Area, through a partnership between the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, MVAC, The Archaeological Conservancy, and the State of Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.

This year, MVAC’s Archaeological Education Award is being given to Loren and Margaret to recognize another major contribution: sharing their knowledge and appreciation of this region’s cultural heritage with the public. The Cades have hosted and participated in educational hikes and tours, public and university field schools and other educational programs. They have had vital roles in MVAC’s National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institutes for Teachers. They have also been active participants in MVAC’s annual Artifact Show.

Throughout these outreach activities, Loren has shared his knowledge of regional archaeology, traditional arrow-making and hunting techniques, and ethical collecting. Loren and Margaret are dedicated stewards of their land and its rich heritage, and they are gracious and generous in their involvement with students, professionals and the public.

George Garvin
2013 MVAC Distinguished Service Award

In its 31-year history, MVAC has given out only six Distinguished Service Awards, and this year the center awards its seventh to George Garvin. Garvin is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, and is the Repatriation Researcher for the Ho-Chunk Nation’s Heritage Preservation Division. The award is given to him in recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments and commitment to his ongoing work.

For many years, Garvin has worked on some of the most difficult and sensitive issues related to heritage preservation and archaeology, namely, those concerning burial sites, human remains and objects of cultural patrimony. Garvin is widely known and highly respected for this work. His dedication is legendary, and a model for others.

To MVAC, he is a valued colleague as he has graciously shared his knowledge, wisdom and perspective on these sensitive issues. In doing so, he has changed and expanded MVAC’s perspective, contributing to better understanding, cooperation and good will.