The Initial Woodland period in northeast Minnesota marks the beginning of the use of pottery and burial mound building in the archaeological record. The Initial Woodland also experienced an increase in indigenous population. One hypothesis is that wild rice as a food source was related to these three developments (Valppu 1989: 1).  An example of a northeast Minnesota wild rice location, the Big Rice site in the Superior National Forest, considered a classic Initial and Terminal Woodland period type site, illustrates the methods of archaeological investigations into the plant’s use by humans through time. Archaeological techniques along with ethnographic records and tribal oral testimony, when taken together, suggest use of this particular lakeside site since 50 BC.