National Archaeology Day in Milwaukee
November 1, 2011

Bettina Arnold (right), explains experimental archaeology on Iron Age Pottery and Costume in Germany
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On October 22, 2011 the Milwaukee Society hosted an open house, organized by Prof. Bettina Arnold, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Archaeological Research Laboratory.  Titled “Life after Fieldwork: Behind the Scenes at UW-Milwaukee’s Archaeology Research Lab,” the event showcased some of the important analytical work being done by UW-Milwaukee professors and graduate students on the materials discovered in their excavations. Demonstrations included such scientific analytical techniques as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications in landscape and mortuary archaeology (by Prof. John Richards and graduate student Tom Zych: Aztalan, WI, and Prof. Laura Villamil with grad student Lindsay Robinson: Margarita, Quintana Roo, Mexico); petrographic analysis of pottery (Prof. Jason Sherman: Oaxaca and Quintana Roo, Mexico); X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis of pottery (by Ph.D. candidate William Balco: Iron Age Sicily); sex and age determination by osteological (bone) analysis (by Prof. Patricia Richards with grad students Eric Burant and Ashley Dunford: Milwaukee County Poor Farm); and experimental archaeology on Iron Age pottery and costume (by Prof. Bettina Arnold, Heuneburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Graduate student Shannon Freire supervised the Float Sorting Station, where visitors were challenged to distinguish among minute fragments of shell, bone, pottery, and lithics found in flotation. About 30 members and friends of the Milwaukee Society and students visited the Lab, all of whom asked a lot of questions and had a great time learning about archaeology hands-on!

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