Diggin’ Up Munn Field

It’s week three of our summer CAP work, and we’ve spent it digging test pits at Munn Field. I’ll admit, I was a little jealous that I missed out on the cool Vet Lab find two weeks ago, but now I’m finally back working with CAP, and Munn Field has offered us some interesting finds.

Munn Field is the designated spot for Sparticipation, the beginning-of-the-year gathering meant for new freshman to find on-campus groups and clubs to join. Of course, once a year you can find enthusiastic Spartan basketball fans grouped together at Munn Field for the Izzone Campout.

Students camping at Munn Field for Izzone tickets. photo http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20130927/GW0201/309270051/Izzone-advantage-Thousands-camp-out-coveted-MSU-men-s-basketball-tickets
Students camping at Munn Field for Izzone tickets. photo. Image source

However, most of us think of Munn Field as a central area for football tailgating. Located right next to Spartan Stadium, it’s the perfect place for Spartans to park their cars, set up their crockpots and grills, and throw around a football.

With this in mind, we started digging with the anticipation that we would find a varied collection of bottle caps (what’s tailgating without beverages?) but surprisingly, we’ve found very little. I found one bottle cap on the surface, and Kate happened upon six caps of the same brand, all in the same spot (six pack?). Some modern nails have been dug up, along with a couple of plastic bottle caps, as was expected.

Quonset village 1950, near Munn Field. Courtesy MSU Archives
Quonset village 1950, near Munn Field. Courtesy MSU Archives

While no permanent building has been erected on the surface of Munn Field, it has been used in the past for temporary buildings. In the earlier years of the college, barns had been built to house some of the school’s animals, including sheep and horses, but those barns no longer stand. Ian and I found a plank of wood about 30 cm deep, which we at first thought may have been a remainder of one of the barns. However, we compared the location of the plank find to where the barns used to stand, and the two areas of the field don’t match up. Right now it’s a mystery as to what the plank of wood had been used for, but perhaps with more research we’ll find out more.

Munn Field was also used to house married students in the temporary quonset villages built after WWII. These buildings no longer stand. Because of its use as housing, we hope to find habitation debris while digging this week. What was life like in a quonset village?

The CAP team spent some time at the MSU archives looking at aerial photos of the campus throughout the years, and it is clear that Munn Field changes in use, from a marching field for ROTC cadets in the 30s, to quonset villages in the 50s, to tailgating in the 60s.

Munn Field aerial photo from 1930s
Munn Field aerial photo from 1930s courtesy MSU Archives
Munn Field aerial photo from 1940s
Munn Field aerial photo from 1940s courtesy MSU Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Munn Field aerial photo from 1950s
Munn Field aerial photo from 1950s courtesy MSU Archives
Munn Field aerial photo from 1960s courtesy MSU Archives
Munn Field aerial photo from 1960s courtesy MSU Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll continue to dig at Munn Field this week, so if you’re walking by be sure to say hello!



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