College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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UNI’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology (SAC) is contributing to campus history by conducting an excavation on the site where Central Hall once stood. Originally built as an orphanage, this building would become the first classroom building at UNI. Central Hall served students for nearly a century until it burned down in 1965. Visit Rod Library's Special Collections Central Hall page for a more detailed history.

Why are we digging?

A dig on campus raises awareness that archeology sites are everywhere. An excavation demonstrates that campus histories can’t always tell the whole story of a university -- sometimes you have to dig to uncover the remnants of the past. This hands-on learning experience also provides students with the opportunity for developing the skills needed for their future careers.

How will we do it?

Excavation blocks are laid out over the area where the ruins of Central Hall’s north foundation are thought to be. Excavation is done by hand with shovels and trowels while soil is sifted through screens to retrieve artifacts. Objects found in place are mapped and the soil studied to yield a better picture of what happened at Central Hall over the years.

Looking for more?

The links under Dig UNI in the menu are updated with blogs and photos as the project progresses, so visit this site regularly as more information will be added throughout the semester! For questions, contact professor Donald H. Gaff at donald.gaff or the SAC office at 319-273-2786.  Follow us on Twitter @diguniofficial.