Archaeology at the Agency

Join us for our 2020 season's

Come dig with us!

We're in hot pursuit of the hottest place on the hillside: the Agency blacksmith shop. Roll up your sleeves and dig with us into our site's buried history! Come prepared to get dirty, learn a lot, and have fun!

Who may participate? How do I register?

You and your family may participate in a real archaeology dig! Try your hand at a variety of tasks from digging to screening to lab work and more. There will be lots to do, see, and learn about archaeology and frontier blacksmithing. Children ages 5 and up are invited to join in the fun with the direct supervision of a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult. Pre-registration is recommended, but you may also just come and jump in when spaces open up. Pre-registration will open on May 15.

What are the details? And may I just observe?

The dig will be held on two consecutive weekends: tentatively, June 13-14 and June 21-22. (Hint: Looking for something to do on Father's Day weekend? Dad will love this!) You may also come to simply spectate and explore the other fun learning opportunities that will be available.

What else is going on?

Special archaeology exhibit

This season's special exhibit will be unveiled for viewing May 15 through October 15. Come prepared to think like an archaeologist. Have fun analyzing scenarios that come up in the everyday work of those who study the past through scientific excavation.

Kids' camp

Children​ will learn hands-on what it takes to be an archaeologist. Watch here for details as they become available.

Summer speaker series

Every Tuesday night in July, talks will cover a variety of topics related to archaeology and blacksmithing. Details coming in the spring.

Dig sponsored by:

Why archaeology?

Written records, alone, cannot answer some important questions about how John Kinzie's Indian Agency worked.  Our main inquiry this season is how the Agency blacksmith functioned. A smith was established here in 1830 to serve the Ho-Chunk tribe. Evidence in the ground may reveal some answers.

Follow our progress!

Dig even deeper!

News releases

Archaeology at the Agency 2020

The Historic Indian Agency House

1490 Agency House Road, Portage, WI 53901


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