Anthropology Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Geared towards students:

The Office of Undergraduate Research is an excellent resource for students who want to take an active role in their education through hands-on learning in a research environment. The OUR particularly encourages first- and second-year undergraduates to get involved in research activity for credit through UROP (the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Project) which pairs each student with a faculty researcher in a field of his or her interest. 

Visit to check out a list of current research projects, or to apply.

Ancient Bones, Ancient Lives

  • This project combines research in experimental archaeology and comparative osteology with some purely archaeological data from Wisconsin (the Silver Beach Elk site) and Oregon (the Mortar Riddle site). It involves hands-on lab work, building towards publishable journal articles.
  • Tasks and responsibilities:
    We will: 1) deflesh a modern elk skeleton to study butchering marks left by stone tools and metal tools; 2) analyze those butchering marks to puzzle out who killed the Silver Beach elk some 500 years agao; 3) analyze archaeological soil samples and faunal samples (animal bones) to better understand Native American daily life before the times of European arrival in North America.

Archaeology and Osteology of the Milwaukee County Poor Farm Cemetery

  • Organization and inventory of the recently acquired pauper cemetery human remains, artifacts, and associated records. This recently acquired collection consists of over 1600 individuals buried on the Milwaukee County grounds between the late 1800s and the early 1930s.
  • Tasks and responsibilities:
    Inventory and re-boxing of individuals;data entry; collection and analysis of death certificates.

Oneota Indian Lifeways in Southern Wisconsin

  • The objective of the study is to understand the subsistence and technology of Oneota people, who live in Wisconsin circa AD 1200-1400. The methodology is the analysis of flotation recovered material from the Crescent Bay Hunt Club site. Crescent Bay is an 800 year old village containing houses, food storage pits, hearths and burials.The student's primary task is the physical separation and sorting of artifacts and debris from soil samples excavated at the Crescent Bay Hunt Club site.
  • Tasks and responsibilities:
    The student's primary task is the physical separation and sorting of artifacts and debris from soil samples excavated at the Crescent Bay Hunt Club site.

Prehistoric Artifact Preparation and Analysis

  • To provide the student with an understanding of laboratory techniques used by archaeologists. The processing of soil samples for fine-scale recovery of stone tools, flakes, ceramics, animal bone and plant remains. Organizational, observational and analytical skills will all be utilized.
  • Tasks and responsibilities:
    Students will conduct machine-flotation recovery of soil samples from the Crescent Bay Hunt Club, an 800 year old agricultural village in southern Wisconsin. Students will also participate in cleaning, identification, sorting and inventory of recovered materials, including stone flakes and tools,ceramics, animal bone, and plant remains.