Great Lakes Archaeology: Current Research and Perspectives

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

There is a long history of archaeological research in the Great Lakes region, and much of that research has taken place in the last decade or is ongoing. A number of projects combine traditional and innovative methodologies to offer new insights into the once-obscure worlds of ancient hunter-gatherers' lives. This symposium brings together scholars studying Great Lakes archaeology to present their current and recent research investigating ancient daily practices through the study of a diverse range of topics, including: technological organization and innovation, craft production, subsistence and cuisine, cultural interactions, and human-landscape interactions.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-9 of 9)

  • Documents (9)

  • Hunter-Gatherer Mobility Strategies: A Late Woodland Example from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sean Dunham.

    The Late Woodland (LW) period in the upper Great Lakes region has been linked to the development of the Inland Shores Fishery and especially to the advent of deep water fall fishing. A recent study of LW settlement and subsistence patterns in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan has revealed a shift in the mobility strategies used by LW peoples of that region. Using site locational data and an assemblage diversity index trends were identified that directly inform on LW settlement and mobility...

  • Late Prehistoric Food Choices in the Upper Great Lakes Region: Evidence from 20OT283 and 20OT3 in the Lower Grand River Valley of Michigan (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Hambacher. James Robertson. Randall Schaetzl.

    Research into Late Prehistoric subsistence strategies used by residentially mobile hunter-foragers in the Upper Great Lakes region indicate that there is a complex interplay in the choices made between the exploitation of natural resources and the incorporation of maize and other domesticated plants into those economies. Recent excavations of food processing and storage features coupled with soils analysis elucidating their depositional histories at two Late Prehistoric sites have provided new...

  • Lithic Technological Organization on Grand Island, Michigan, During the Late Archaic Period (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Fernanda Neubauer.

    This paper presents the results of a study of subsistence, chipped stone and hot rock technologies, settlement variability, residential mobility, and landscape interactions of the Late Archaic (c. 5,000-2,000 BP) people on Grand Island, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Recent excavations by the Grand Island Archaeological Program (GIAP) have yielded a sizable body of evidence for Late Archaic occupations on Grand Island, which is the largest island of Lake Superior's southern shore. Direct...

  • Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis of Copper Trace Element Composition: A Methodological Pilot Study (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mark Hill. Kevin Nolan.

    Copper artifacts are widely represented in prehistoric sites of eastern North America and their presence in any particular region is often used in reconstructing exchange and social networks. Early interpretations were predicated on assumptions that native copper from which materials derived from the extensive copper deposits in the Lake Superior region. However, as early as 1903, assessment of copper trace element composition has been used to test such hypotheses. A number of methods have...

  • Pottery Function, Cooking, and Subsistence in the Upper Great Lakes: A View from the Middle Woodland Winter Site in Northern Michigan (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Susan Kooiman.

    The relationship between subsistence and food-processing technology is a burgeoning topic in archaeology and has the potential to yield new perspectives on resource choice and cuisine in the Upper Great Lakes. This paper presents the results of exploratory functional pottery analysis from the well-dated Winter site, a Middle Woodland habitation in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The analytic data discussed includes those physical properties affecting ceramic vessel performance, as well...

  • Prehistoric Subsistence Adaptation in the Upper Great Lakes: A Perspective from Butternut-Franklin Lakes (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kathryn Egan-Bruhy. Mark Bruhy.

    The Butternut-Franklin Lakes Archaeological District is located immediately south of the confluence of the Upper Wisconsin, Menominee, Brule River watersheds, in an area dominated by several thousand lakes. The preponderance of streams, swamps, and marshes make this a vast and extraordinary aquatic ecosystem. Archaeological research in this region, extending back into the 1960s, provides a solid baseline for reconstruction of the dynamic settlement/subsistence adaptation of prehistoric...

  • Pros and Cons of Consulting Collectors: A Case Study from the River Raisin in Michigan (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Shott.

    In survey, we collect what lies on the surface. But so have others, for decades or more. Ignoring private collections risks neglecting a selective but informative part of the accumulated record. One way to gauge collector effects is to compare what archaeologists found in survey to private collections from the same places. In 1975-77 the University of Michigan surveyed the River Raisin watershed in southeastern Michigan. I compare Michigan’s results to what collectors had found already and,...

  • A Proto-Historic Site in the Western Great Lakes (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Scott Demel. Marla Buckmaster. Terrance Martin. James Paquette. Kathryn Parker.

    The discovery of several early iconographic/Jesuit rings in 1996 in Marquette County, Michigan led to the subsequent discovery of a proto-historic locus within a larger multi-component site. Professional archaeologists and volunteers spent two summers excavating 34 square meters near this discovery, and eventually identified the area as Location A at the Goose Lake Outlet #3 site. The excavated area is a single component occupation located in an ecologically diverse region that has been used...

  • Where the Hunters Hunted: Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the submerged archaeological landscapes of the Alpena-Amberley Ridge, Lake Huron (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Elizabeth Sonnenburg. John O'Shea. Ashley Lemke.

    Understanding of early Holocene hunter-gatherer archaeological sites relies heavily on paleoenvironmental data, as many of these sites are ephemeral and have little archaeological visibility on the landscape. In rare cases, such as on the Alpena-Amberley Ridge in Lake Huron, highly visible hunting structures are preserved which offer a unique insight into early hunter-gatherer lifeways, while targeted sediment sample collection provides high-resolution paleoenvironmental information. Since 2011,...