Archaeological surprise shines light on ancient culture of Trempealeau

Digging up lawns has made archaeologist Danielle Benden familiar with the neighborhood.

Archeaology student Tori Pagel sifts through a shovelful of dirt on a dig in the middle of Trempealea. The dig has uncovered artifacts from a 1,000-year-old society known as the Mississippians. Erik Daily

Hunting for signs of a 1,000-year-old culture, University of Wisconsin researchers and students churned up land all over town — near homes on Third Street, in front of a local inn and up on Little Bluff.

This summer’s dig uncovered a surprise outcropping of ancient structures, hidden directly under the grassy subdivisions of this riverside village.

“Literally beneath their feet they walk over archaeology,” Benden said. “Probably unknowingly.”

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