HOLMEN, Wis. -- UW-La Crosse students have unearthed native artifacts in Holmen, some of which might be 500 years old.

The archaeology students started digging and sifting through dirt in a Holmen field near Highway 53 five weeks ago.

Since then, they've collected nearly 7,000 artifacts. Those include Oneota tribe pottery and the remains of one of their homes.

The students say it's an opportunity of a lifetime.

"Last year (students) were on a site where they didn't find a lot," says Hannah Lingenfelter. "Dr. (David) Anderson was telling us just how we should take advantage of this. It's not often you're gonna be on a site where you find things all the time. So, it's really exciting."

Similar Native American homes were found nearby between 1987 and 1992. Dr. David Anderson, an archaeology professor at UW-L, says these kind of finds will serve as valuable teaching tools for generations to come.

"We can look and see how they were building their houses," Anderson says. How and where they organizing themselves.  How many people were maybe living in one house.  Where their neighbors living next to them and which houses."

The artifacts are being examined at UW-L, and the excavation ends Friday.

The Oneota tribe lived in the Holmen area in the 1300s before heading West three centuries later.