May 28 – July 6, 2019
The UWM Archaeological Field School will be held at the Aztalan site in Jefferson County, Wisconsin for the first time since 2013. Aztalan is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Midwest and UWM has a long history of research at the site. The 2019 fieldwork is designed to follow up on earlier research including excavations into the Northeast Platform Mound and the recently completed geomagnetic map of the interior of the palisaded part of the site This course is designed to provide focused instruction in detailed excavation and interpretation of archaeological deposits. Students will learn to excavate, record, and interpret multiple occupation levels at the site through a field-based, hands-on practicum. Students who successfully complete the course will be able to excavate, record, and interpret archaeological deposits. Students will also learn techniques of archaeological survey including surface survey and shovel probing. Completion of a college-level archaeological field school is the minimum qualification needed to be hired as an archaeological field technician.
The Aztalan site is a palisaded village situated on the west bank of he Crawfish River occupied by a group of Late Woodland and Mississippian Indians from about A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1250. The site is dominated by four platform mounds situated in each corner of a rectangular palisade. The site appears to be a village farming community connected to the ancient city of Cahokia in southern Illinois, home to the most complex pre-Columbian society in North America.