Phase III Investigations of Three Archaeological Sites at Stillwell Crossing, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin


In summer of 2017, CEMML archaeologists at Fort McCoy, in Tomah, Wisconsin conducted Phase III investigations of three NRHP-eligible sites 47MO054, 47MO360, and 47MO660 near a tank trail crossing Stillwell Creek. This location was continually re-occupied for the last 3,000 years, by Late Archaic to historic-era Native American (probably Ho-Chunk) communities. Bioturbation, military activities, and other cultural and natural processes easily disturb the sandy soils at Stillwell Crossing, resulting in substantial mixing of the archaeological components, so the Phase III research design tested two questions: 1) How effective is subsurface geophysical prospecting in such contexts? and 2) How do spatial distributions of artifacts reflect both depositional and post-depositional processes at the site? Investigations demonstrated that the effectiveness of geophysical prospecting is limited, especially for identifying ephemeral pre-contact features. Vertical distribution of artifacts showed no distinctly stratified deposits, though horizontal distributions of lithic raw material varied across the three sites. Mineralogical analysis of soil samples, radiocarbon dates, and compositional analysis of a glass trade bead all yielded informative results about the extent and nature of past human activities at Stillwell Crossing. These mitigation efforts, which also included construction of a mock cultural site, enhance the military training facility at Fort McCoy.

Cite this Record

Phase III Investigations of Three Archaeological Sites at Stillwell Crossing, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Heather Walder, Daniel Contreras, Walker Good, Alexander Woods. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445067)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20295