Robert J. Jeske

Professor Emeritus


PhD, Northwestern University

Courses Taught

Anthro 103 - Digging Up the Past: Approaches to Archaeology
Anthro 304 - Violence and Warfare in Prehistory (online)
Anthro 308 - Archaeology of North America
Anthro 501 - Archaeology of Death
Anthro 502 - Lithic Analysis: Stone Tools and Behavior
Anthro 562 - Techniques and Problems in Archaeology
Anthro 566 - Archaeological Analysis and Report Preparation
Anthro 567 - Archaeological Field School
Anthro 802 - Perspectives on Prehistory
Anthro 942 - Seminar on Prehistory and Archaeology (The Organization of Lithic Technology)


My research interests include archaeological method and theory–particularly how economics and population interactions foster group identity and ethnicity. I also actively investigate stone tool production and use, survey methods and settlement models, mortuary studies, canine activities, site formation processes and experimental archaeology. I have performed fieldwork in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New Mexico, and Ireland. I am currently collaborating on a number of interrelated projects with colleagues and students using radiocarbon, lithic, ceramic, copper, osteological, and environmental data to clarify the culture history and lifeways in the western Great Lakes region. I am also involved in public archaeology and historic preservation and have worked with government, non-profit, Tribal, and private organizations to use archaeology to serve the public interest.

Relevant Professional Activities

President, Midwest Archaeological Conference (2014-2016)
Senator, UW Milwaukee Faculty Senate (2012-2017)
Board of Directors, Wisconsin Archaeological Survey (2011-2017)
Chair, UW Milwaukee Department of Anthropology (2004-2008)
Treasurer, Midwest Archaeological Conference (2003-2005)
President, Wisconsin Archaeological Survey (2001-2003), Vice President, (1999-2000)
Board of Directors, Central States Anthropological Association (1999-2001)
Director, UW Milwaukee Archaeological Research Laboratory (1997-present)
Indiana State Historic Preservation Review Board (1991-1997)
Board of Directors, Council for the Conservation of Indiana Archaeology (1990-1995) Secretary-
Treasurer (1991-1994)
Executive Board of Directors, Illinois Archaeological Survey (1989-1991; 1998-2000)

Selected Publications

Jeske, R. J., Edwards, R. W., & Katherine, S. M.(Eds). (2020) Life, Death, and Landscapes at Lake Koshkonong: Oneota Archaeology in Southeastern Wisconsin.Midwest Archaeological Conference Occasional Publications /Taylor and Francis.
Jeske, R. J., Sterner, K. M., & Edwards, R. W.(2020) New Perspectives from Lake Koshkonong.Life, Death, and Landscapes at Lake Koshkonong: Oneota Archaeology in Southeastern Wisconsin, 4, 1-26. Midwest Archaeological Conference Occasional Publications /Taylor and Francis.
Jeske, R. J., Edwards, R. W., & Katherine, S. M.(Eds). (2020) The Social Landscape of Eleventh to Fifteenth-Century Lake Koshkonong.Midwest Archaeological Conference Occasional Papers, 103–118. Midwest Archaeological Conference Occasional Publications /Taylor and Francis/.
Karsten, J. K., Jeske, R. J., Edwards, R. W., Strange, D. M., Kubehl, K. , & Behm, J. A.(2019) Assessing subsistence and cultural relationships in the late prehistoric Upper Midwest: a new perspective provided by dental health.American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 1-14.
Sterner, K. M., & Jeske, R. J.(2017) A Multi-Method Approach to Inferring Early Agriculturalists'Stone Tool Use: The Crescent Bay Hunt Club Site.Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, 41(1), 1-27.
Jeske, R. J., & Brown, J. A.(2017) Chipped Stone Assemblage.Brown, J. A.(Ed). Mound City: The Archaeology of a Renowned Hopewell Mound Center, 6, 251-304. Lincoln, Nebraska: National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior.
Edwards, R. W., Jeske, R. J., & Coltraine, J. B.(2017) Preliminary Evidence for the Efficacy of the Canine Surrogacy Approach in the Great Lakes.Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 13, 516-525.
Jeske, R. J., & Sterner-Miller, K. M.(2015) Microwear Analysis of Bipolar Tools from the Crescent Bay Hunt Club Site (47JE904).Lithic Technology, 40(4), 366-376.
Arnold, B. , & Jeske, R. J.(2014) The Archaeology of Death: Mortuary Archaeology in the United States and Europe 1990-2013.Annual Review of Anthropology, 43, 325-346.
Hart, J. P., Lovis, W. A., Jeske, R. J., & Richards, J. D.(2012) The Potential of Bulk δ13C on Encrusted Cooking Residues as Independent Evidence for Regional Maize Histories.American Antiquity, 77(2), 315-325.
Jeske, R. J., Winkler, D. M., & Blodgett, D. C.(2010) Experimental Heat Alteration of Lithic Raw Materials.Fergusen , J. R.(Ed). Designing Experimental Research in Archaeology: Examining Technology Through Production and Use, 111-128. University Press of Colorado.
Winkler, D. M., & Jeske, R. J.(2009) Late Pleistocene Occupations in the Lake Koshkonong Region, Southeastern Wisconsin.Current Research in the Pleistocene, 26, 126-128.
Jeske, R. J., & Winkler, D. M.(2008) The Clovis Occupation of the Schmeling Site (47je833) in Jefferson County, Wisconsin.Current Research in the Pleistocene, 25, 99-102.
Kuznar, L. A., & Jeske, R. J.(2006) Analogic Reasoning, Ethnoarchaeology, and the Impact of Canines on the Archaeological Record.Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, 16, 37-46.
Jeske, R. J.(2006) Hopewell Regional Interactions in Southeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois: A Core/Periphery Approach.Charles, D. K., & Buikstra, J. E.(Eds). Recreating Hopewell, 285-309. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.
Jeske, R. J.(2003) Langford and Fisher Ceramic Traditions: Moiety, Ethnicity or Power Relations in the Upper Midwest?.Wisconsin Archeologist, 84, 65-180.
(2003) Lithic Procurement and Use within Mississippian Social Networks.Jeske, R. J.(Ed). Theory, Method, and Practice in Modern Archaeology, 223-237. Westport, CT: Praeger Press.
Richards, J. D., & Jeske, R. J.(2002) Location, Location, Location: The Temporal and Cultural Contexts of Late Prehistoric Settlement in Southeast Wisconsin.Wisconsin Archeologist, 83(2), 32-54.
Jeske, R. J., & Kuznar, L. A.(2001) Canine Digging Behavior and Archaeological Implications.Journal of Field Archaeology, 28, 383-394.
Jeske, R. J.(2000) The Washington Irving Site: Langford Tradition Adaptation in Northern Illinois. In Mounds, Modoc, and Mesoamerica: Essays in Honor of Melvin Fowler.Ahler, S. R.(Ed). 265-294. Springfield, Illinois.: Illinois State Museum.