Laboratory Facilities

Curation Facility

Archaeological materials held by Archaeological Research Laboratory (ARL) are curated in a 2,400 square foot, dedicated curation facility. Approximately 1,300 square feet of compact storage provides 3,900 cubic feet of storage while open shelving allows curation of an additional storage. The ARL curation facility is compliant with federal regulations as outlined in Standards and Guidelines for Curation of Federally-owned and Administered Archeological Collections (36 CFR 79). Curation of materials generated by non-UWM researchers is accomplished through extramural contracts administered by Historic Resource Management Services.

Zooarchaeology Laboratory

The Zooarchaeology Lab has both wet lab and dry lab facilities. Its objective is to serve as a resource for students seeking training in zooarchaeology and researchers analyzing archaeological faunal remains. Current projects include the building of comparative osteological collections with an emphasis on Midwestern fauna, and the analysis of zooarchaeological collections from the midwestern U.S., South America, and Africa. (See the Zooarchaeology Program web site.)

Comparative Collections

The ARL owns comparative collections of stone tools, ceramics and raw materials used by the prehistoric peoples of eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. The lab currently has ceramic material from the Cahokia site, on loan from the Illinois State Museum, that is used for continuing research by UWM students and faculty. The laboratory also possesses a comparative collection of stone tools and ceramics from a Mesoamerican site dating to the Formative Period.

Library and Central Records

The ARL Library consists of approximately 26 years of accumulation of:

  • general resource information on anthropology and archaeology;
  • technical archaeological reports generated by university and private CRM institutions;
  • selected past UWM Anthropology Master's Theses and Dissertations;
  • a set of "The Wisconsin Archeologist", the Wisconsin Archeological Society's publication;
  • and the Wisconsin Archeological Society's Robert Ritzenthaler Memorial Library.

The central record repository of the ARL contains all technical and business related files pertaining to the operations of the ARL. This includes all field notes and files (slides, maps, etc.) pertaining to all ARL field projects. In addition, the central records houses copies of all ARL Reports of Investigation. The central records also includes a map room containing all oversize maps, map supplies and several sets of United States Geological Survey maps for Wisconsin. These maps contain survey and site locational information relating to the Wisconsin Historical Society's state site files for Region 9, Southeastern Wisconsin.

Computing Capabilities

The Archaeology Research Lab supports a local area network consisting of a multi-platform environment with access to the LAN server for file sharing and storage. The ARL LAN supports 25 workstations consisting of Macintosh and IBM compatible laptop/desktop computers. The UWM-ARL also supports a large digitizing tablet, printing, flatbed scanners, slide scanners, and digital cameras.

Workstations are deployed with graphics, word processing, spreadsheet, desktop publishing, statistical,, and database applications. IBM compatible machines are also installed with ESRI ArcGIS suite of applications for Geographic Information Systems development.

Field and Other Equipment

The ARL also supports a Flot-Tech system for flotation processing.

Contact Information:

Archaeological Research Laboratory
Sabin Hall, Room 275
PO Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201
Phone: (414) 229-4273
Fax: (414) 229-4219