Archaeological fieldwork is a combination of field school and grant supported research centered in Wisconsin and Illinois. Archaeological field schools for undergraduates and graduate students are run every other year. Our next field school will be held in the summer of 2008 and will focus on excavations at Crescent Bay Hunt Club, a 700 year old farming village on Lake Koshkonong, near Fort Atkinson, WI. Recent investigations include work at a Middle and Late Archaic occupations at Carajou Point, and testing at the Schmeling site, another Oneota site near Crescent Bay, WI. We have also begun investigations in conjunction with Dodge County, the Ho-Chunk Nation, and the Milwaukee Public Museum on several projects associated with the Nitschke Effigy Mounds site. Future projects include continuing survey in the region and excavations at several Oneota sites.
Collections-based research and analysis has been the focus of many student projects. Extensive collections from the Bronze Age site of Tell Hadidi in Syria, housed at the Milwaukee Public Museum, as well as other Old World collections there and at the Chicago Field Museum, have been the subject of several thesis projects and are available for future thesis work. Most recently two Masters theses have been completed on material from the Swiss Neolithic Lake Dwelling site of Robenhausen at the Milwaukee Public Museum (Lillis MS 2005; Johnson MS 2006), and two projects are underway analyzing collections from the type-site of La Tène, Switzerland at the Logan Museum and the Chicago Field Museum. Students working on material from both sites have had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland and have interacted with American and European colleagues in the course of their research.
Departmental field programs include on-going research in Peru, conducted by Dr. Jean Hudson. Her work in Peru focuses on the ecological relationships between humans, their cultural systems, and local faunal resources. Past projects in Puebla, Mexico, were conducted by Dr. Melvin Fowler (Emeritus) and Dr. John Richards. Future research in Mesoamerica, to begin in the summer of 2008, will include investigations at and around Margarita, a major ancient Maya center located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Large-scale excavations in the urban core of Margarita will be directed by Dr. Laura Villamil. Dr. Jason Sherman will direct a complementary study integrating regional survey with excavations of households and small centers found in Margarita's hinterland.