Archaeology, WIS 57,
and the Door Peninsula

Holdorf Site

The Holdorf site was located at the top of an upland knoll about 3 miles north of the Door/Kewaunee County border. The site was one of the most unusual investigated by WIS 57 archaeologists and has proved difficult to date and to interpret.

Field Investigations

Archaeological investigations at the site began in 1998 and continued through the fall of 2004. These investigations eventually resulted in the hand-excavation of 1500 ft2 of site area. Excavations exposed a complex series of pits and post-molds representing the presence of temporary structures in use during the time the site was occupied. The recovered artifact inventory includes over 42,000 pieces of chipped stone and two triangular shaped arrow points.

Overview photo of site excavations Partially excavated feature

Cultural Component

Based on point style and two radiocarbon dates that span the period A.D. 700-1200, the site was probably in use during Late Woodland and Oneota times.

The lack of domestic refuse like animal bone or pottery suggests that Holdorf was not a habitation site. The density of chipped stone may indicate that the site was used as a stone tool manufacturing and resharpening facility for groups living nearby.

The Holdorf site is a prehistoric lithic workshop/campsite covering a quarter acre. The Holdorf site contained undisturbed archaeological deposits that produced 42,000 pieces of chipped stone, 39 post molds, two hearths, and 13 shallow basin features assignable to a Late Woodland/Oneota occupation.

The Holdorf site presented a rare opportunity to intensively analyze a single component special purpose facility. Raw material sourcing of the associated debitage suggests a restricted raw material catchment.

Chipped Stone
Projectile Point
Chipped Stone
Chipped Stone
Projectile Point
Chipped Stone
Projectile Point


Archaeological Sites


Beaudhuin Village

Fabry Creek (Boss Tavern)



Heyrman I


Vandermissen Brickworks


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Last Updated: Monday, January 30, 2012