Program in Midwestern Archaeology (PIMA)

Lake Koshkonong 2002/2003: Archaeological Investigations at Three Sites in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, prepared by: Robert J. Jeske, Principal Investigator

The Crescent Bay Hunt Club Site: Oneota in Southeast Wisconsin. Material compiled by Robert J. Jeske and Chrisie L. Hunter

Program in Midwestern Archaeology (Southeastern Wisconsin Archaeology Program): 2000-2001, edited by Robert J. Jeske

Goals of the Program

  1. Expanding on our knowledge base through research that benefits undergraduate and graduate teaching and training. Activities pursued include archival searches, field surveys, site excavations and laboratory analyses.

  2. Disseminating knowledge to peers and students. Publication via books, scholarly journals and Reports of Investigations is a critical aspect of the center. Teaching courses that benefit, and benefit directly from, our field and laboratory research is also essential.

  3. Engaging the community with multiple levels of interaction. We maintain a partnership with state and local governments, tribal governments, and other institutions such as the Milwaukee Public Museum.

  4. Outreach programs for the general public. Outreach encompasses many activities from schoolroom lectures and demonstrations at Milwaukee Public Schools and other districts, to public speaking engagements at local historic societies, to adult and precollege field school excavations.

Recent Activities

Archaeological fieldwork is a combination of field school and grant supported research in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio. The UWM Archaeological field school for undergraduates and graduate students (Anthro 567) is run every other year. In the last 10 years, materials from the field school investigations alone have provided primary data for seven M.S. theses and two Ph.D. dissertations.

In the summer of 2012, 21 students and faculty excavated for six weeks at the Crescent Bay Hunt Club site, a 700 year old farming village on Lake Koshkonong, near Fort Atkinson. Our eighth field season continued to provide details on the site's spatial organization, including our fourth wigwam structure, as well as confirmation of a second longhouse. Additionally, we conducted test excavations at the Koshkonong Creek Village site (KCV), another Oneota site near Crescent Bay. Excavations at KCV uncovered several extremely large pit features containing a wide variety of Oneota pottery, as well as massive quantities of charcoal, fish, and mussel shell. Other materials from the features include tools made from deer and elk antler and bison bone. A copper serpent cutout and several carnivore canine tooth pendants were recovered as well. At least one wall-trench house is represented at the site. Shovel test survey at the nearby Crabapple Point site revealed a previously unreported Late Woodland occupation buried beneath the historic Winnebago village.

Our next field school will be held in the summer of 2014.

Along with the Field School, PIMA research includes other field, laboratory and museum based research focused on the Midwest/Great Lakes Region. Students and staff have collaborated with museums such as the Milwaukee Public Museum, Wisconsin Historical Museum, Logan Museum and the Neville Museum. We also have collaborative relationships with many university departments, government and tribal agencies, and private institutions and individuals. Altogether, PIMA investigations in the last decade have provided primary data for 17 M.S. theses and five Ph.D. dissertations.

Research in progress includes:

  • excavations at the Late Woodland Nitschke Effigy Mounds/Garden Bed site complex in Dodge County,
  • skeletal and lithic analyses of several Red Ocher mortuary sites in Wisconsin and Michigan
  • skeletal analysis from several 19th century cemeteries in Southeastern Wisconsin
  • a systematic program of organic residue dating, X-Ray Fluorescence identification, and mineralogical analysis of clays from ceramic vessels across the region
  • remote sensing surveys at several Effigy Mound sites in southeastern Wisconsin
  • analysis of archaeological surveys near the Cedarburg Bog