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Upper Mississippian Stone Tools and Community Organization

  • Harrington Hall, Room 217 845 Elmwood Avenue Oshkosh, WI, 54901 United States (map)

Hosted By: Robert Ritzenthaler Archaeological Society

Location: Harrington Hall, Room 217

Speaker: Katherine Mary Sterner, Ph.D., Cultural Resource Management Services, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Abstract: A study of community organization provides useful insights into understanding the shift from typologically complex to a simpler lithic technology after circa A.D. 500 in the Prairie Peninsula. When the lithic practice of Upper Mississippian groups settled in western Wisconsin (A.D. 1400-1700) at the La Crosse locality is compared to that of groups in eastern Wisconsin (A.D. 1100-1450) at the Koshkonong locality, a model for communities in two different geographic and temporal contexts may be constructed. The data indicate that the Koshkonong tradition was characterized by a tightly knit multi-village community while evidence of such a community unit at La Crosse does not exist. Evidence from microwear analysis indicates that both men and women used lithic tools and that women produced some, if not most of the lithic tools. The decline in formal lithic tool complexity and diversity through time was likely the result of a shift in the gendered division of labor of producing stone tools.

This is the fourth of nine scheduled monthly meeting and program for the 2018-2019 meeting year of the Robert Ritzenthaler Society’s meeting year. Monthly meetings and programs are generally scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month from September through May. All programs sponsored by the Ritzenthaler Archaeological Society are free and open to the public. Please extend an invitation to attend to your friends.

Book Sale: The sale of books, reports, journal issues, and magazine will continue. New set of books and magazines continue to be added. Thanks to all who have donated books, magazines, and academic journals to this ongoing sale. The proceeds of the sale go to the Ritzenthaler Archaeological Society’s treasury, and used to support our meetings and publication series.

Fox Valley Archeology: The latest issue of Fox Valley Archeology is available to everyone who was a paid-up member during the 2017-2018 meeting year. Non-attending members should have had their copies mailed to them. Members attending the monthly meetings have picked up their copies at the meeting. If you feel that you are a paid-up member but have not received your issue, please contact me. Individual copies of this issue are available for $5.00 to new members and anyone who allowed their membership to lapse and wish to renew their membership. At least one more issue of Fox Valley Archeology is planned for the Spring of 2018. This may be the last issue of this publication series.

Building Location: Harrington Hall is located on the west side of the T-intersection of John with Elmwood on the east side of the UW-Oshkosh campus.

Parking: We have permission to use UW-Oshkosh Lot 34 from one half hour before until one half hour after our meetings. This is the lot east of Elmwood and south of John – the one we regularly use for the meetings in Harrington Hall. We have access from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. If you park in the lot before 6:30 pm (even just for a few minutes) you are very likely to get a parking ticket. Remember that you must park within the lines of the parking stall, with the rear of the vehicle toward the aisle. We do not have permission to use any other parking lot. You will get a ticket if you park in any other lot. You may also be able to find parking on John Street or Scott Avenue.

Handicap Access: Ground level access to Harrington is available at the southern entrance to Harrington. An elevator is available in the south end of the building. There is no parking next to the building. You can make arrangements to be dropped off at the south side of the building.