Archaeological Research Laboratory

UWM's Archaeological Research Laboratory (ARL) provides research space and support for a variety of archaeological work being conducted by UWM researchers.

The ARL encompasses 10,000 square feet of space devoted to offices, artifact processing areas, special collections space, computing facilities, photographic and cartographic studios, and storage. The ARL owns all of the necessary equipment for conducting archaeological field and laboratory investigations including vehicles, transits, cameras, screens, excavation tools, scales, and microscopes.

In addition to current and on-going excavation, the ARL often becomes the final home for certain artifacts. Our special collections include topographic maps, comparative faunal and floral collections, microfilm of the original land survey records for Wisconsin and Illinois, and artifacts and records from previous research. Regularly updated copies of the archaeological site files for southeast Wisconsin and most of northern Illinois are also maintained.

ARL is home to UWM's Cultural Resource Management (CRM) unit, which expanded significantly in 2014 with the addition of staff and their expertise from the Great Lakes Archaeological Research Center, Inc. Private sector and public sector clients enlist the services of CRM, most often in the course of an expansion or construction project that will entail digging on grounds that may contain artifacts or remains. The program is more than forty years old, with a long history of providing clients with "one-stop shop" consulting services to ensure their compliance with historic preservation regulations relating to both archaeological sites and architectural-historical resources. CRM also provides interpretive services from exhibition master planning to the design, fabrication, and installation of traveling and/or temporary exhibitions including the development of accompanying curriculum materials, social media plans and digital products such as supporting web sites.