The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Cultural Resources Management Archaeology: M.S.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Mark P. Muñiz

Second Advisor

Debra Gold

Third Advisor

Michner Bender

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The overall research goal of this thesis is to analyze how tree throw affects archaeological sites in order to gain a greater understanding of site formation processes influenced by this significant environmental factor. This research focused on whether we have the ability to determine if tree throw had previously affected undisturbed areas adjacent to the excavated tree throws areas, which have been significantly disturbed in recent years by wind and fire events. This paper will present the preliminary methods and results of the effects of tree throw on soil stratigraphy and the placement of lithic artifacts at the Wendt site in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness located within the Superior National Forest, Lake County, Minnesota. Geoarchaeology concepts and methods were applied through the use of pedology, stratigraphy, archaeology, and dendrochronology. Recognizing potential tree throw effects, and the fact that tree throw is an important factor in site formation processes, is vital to continuing accurate research in these forested regions.


I would like to thank the Minnesota Historical Society, the Superior National Forest, William Clayton, Heather Hoffman, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Dr. Mark Muñiz, Dr. Debra Gold, Dr. Mitch Bender, the University of Wisconsin- Madison soils department, Dr. Nick Balster, Ana Wells, Dr. Philip Barak, and my brilliant St. Cloud State University colleagues. A special thanks to my parents, John and Jane, who have always supported and encouraged my diverse interests with a great deal of patience and kindness.

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.

This thesis was digitized and published to The Repository with the generous permission of Jennifer Norman.



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