Red Ochre, Old Copper and Collecting the Archaic
Rob Ahlrichs, UWM
I have had the opportunity to investigate Wisconsin’s Archaic Tradition from several angles. These investigations have been based primarily on collections of Archaic artifacts held in museums and private settings. The Riverside Cemetery collection, held at the Oshkosh and Milwaukee Public Museums, sparked a broad look at Red Ochre sites and their traits in Wisconsin. Research on the source and possible use of the blue-gray chert bifaces often found as caches at these sites formed the core of this investigation. This has led to a general interest in the procurement and use of exotic materials during Wisconsin’s Archaic. Recently I have had the opportunity to catalogue and study a large collection of Old Copper implements, collected over the course of 70 years by Jim Bussey of Edgerton, WI. I will review these colorful Archaic manifestations, present the current results of my researches thus far, and discuss the importance of collections and collecting practices to our current understanding of Wisconsin’s Archaic Tradition.
Monday, February 16th
UW-Milwaukee, Sabin Hall, Rm G90