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Public Archeology Day at the Field Station

On Saturday, April 9th, College of General Studies anthropologists Gregg Jamison, Chris Hays, and Joe Quick hosted a public archaeology day at the UWM at Waukesha Field Station. It was supported by the UWM at Waukesha Foundation and College of General Studies faculty and staff including Teresa Schueller, Director of the Field Station; Marlin Johnson, Field Station Resident Manager, Bill Schneider, Chair of the Field Station Committee; and Suzanne Joneson, Field Station Committee Member. Drs. Jennifer Haas and Seth Schneider, Mr. Brian Nichols, and Mr. Eric Burant of the Archaeological Research Laboratory Center at UW-Milwaukee, also participated and provided invaluable support prior to the event, including equipment and assistance in documenting the archaeological sites on the property. Other volunteers included archaeologists Dr. Brett Hoffman of UW-Oshkosh, and Dr. Lauren Glover and Mr. Alan Lee of UW-Madison. Several friends of the Field Station also helped throughout the day in a variety of ways that were crucial to the success of the program. The event would not have been possible without all their help and support.

Over 100 people attended despite the cold weather, including many community members of all ages. We were especially pleased that Mr. Benjamin Rhodd, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Forest County Potawatomi Community attended and look forward to collaborating with him in future events at the Field Station and beyond. Participants had multiple opportunities to experience archaeological research and learn about cultural landscapes at the field station. In addition to participating in archaeological surveys and excavations at the two known sites on the property, attendees had the chance to learn how to make their own stone tools and go on an informative walking tour of some of the cultural resources on the property. The classroom building was transformed into a mini museum with artifact displays, exhibits on local pre-contact and historic cultures, and archaeological “tools of the trade.” Some participants also brought their own artifacts to share and learn more about, and we were able to help identify them and provide information about their ages and cultural affiliations.

A good number of College of General Studies students also made it, including Kate Gochanour, Briana Laska, Grace Lehnert, William Lucht, Malena Neumann, Michael Perez, Irialis Serra Garcia, Avani Tandon, Avantika Tandon, and others. Former College of General Studies and current UWM student David Shaw also attended, continuing his archaeological research at the Field Station from Fall 2021. Current students attended to fulfill coursework requirements, earn extra credit, and conduct research for Honor’s credits. Here are some of their comments on the experience:

“It was cool seeing the different stations and learning different archaeological techniques. The flintknapping demonstration really helped me connect with what I learned about it in class, Gregg did a great job of that.”

“Seeing how an archaeological excavation works was fun. I stayed a lot longer than I thought I would and enjoyed listening to the Professor (Hays) explain why we did it.”

“I’m glad I went. I understand more about class stuff like cultural diversity, environmental adaptation, and evolution.”

“The aspect that I enjoyed the most was learning and exploring the area and history of the Field station itself. Getting to interview some of the participants made it very interesting.”

Overall, the event was a great success, and we look forward to more archaeological and cultural landscapes research at the Field Station over the summer and another public archaeology day next fall!