Edina archaeological study: a deep dive into Edina’s past

Ellen Mi, staff writer

Beneath the restaurants, schools, and malls that have planted themselves in Edina, is a history that is often left unknown. The federal government has granted Edina $10,000 to uncover possible historical artifacts which might bring light to Edina’s history. Archaeologist Robert Vogel will work with Edina throughout the summer on the project.

Vogel, a Preservation Planning Consultant for Edina, has an extensive background in archaeology, history, and geography. In a letter to the Edina Heritage Preservation Commission, Vogel wrote about his intentions with his project.

So far, the Edina Mill Site has been the only archaeological resource enlisted within Edina, differing from nearby cities like Eden Prairie and Minnetonka. “Very little archaeological work has been carried out in Edina… Archaeological surveys carried out in neighboring communities have resulted in the identification of numerous archaeological sites associated with prehistoric and historic Native Americans,” Vogel said in the letter.

The intentions of the archaeological project have predominantly scientific objectives. “Formulat[ing] a model that predicts the presence or absence of prehistoric and historic archaeological resources at specific locations within the Edina city limits,” Vogel wrote. The project is a chance to make advancements toward discovering the uncertainties of Edina’s history, through “Merg[ing] historical, anthropological, and geomorphological data to delineate areas with high probability for yielding intact archaeological sites,” Vogel wrote.

Furthermore, Vogel argues that the lack of archaeological studies has societal implications in Edina. “Only a small fraction of [Edina’s] land area (15.9 sq. mi.) has been systematically surveyed for cultural resources associated with Native Americans,” Vogel wrote.

By the summer, it is likely that Vogel’s research project will serve as a new way of viewing Edina’s history by turning back time to the historic culture of Edina.