The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Cultural Resources Management Archaeology: M.S.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Mark Muñiz

Second Advisor

Robb Mann

Third Advisor

Constance Arzigian

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Archaeology, Marquette County, Wisconsin, Upper Midwest


This research comprises the analysis of artifacts recovered during archaeological investigations at Buffalo Lake in 1917 and 1925 at Kratz Creek (47MQ0039), Neale (47MQ0049), and McClaughry (47MQ0042) mound group sites. The purpose of this thesis is to further define the cultural history of occupation at Buffalo Lake. Analysis was performed on 258 projectile points to determine point types and associate cultural time periods. Furthermore, raw material analysis was performed to provide data on socio-economic connections between Buffalo Lake and other regions outside its vicinity. Additionally, 179 ceramic rim sherds have been assessed to determine their type. This enforces the distribution areas of different ceramic types through the Woodland Tradition and Buffalo Lake’s association with these areas. Analysis of projectile point types reflects occupation from Late Paleoindian up through Late Woodland, a span of over 10,000 years. Moreover, people regularly depended on locally available lithic source materials, such as Prairie du Chien chert. As time progressed, non-local materials used for manufacturing points became more evident at Buffalo Lake. By the Late Woodland, silicified sandstone sourced from western Wisconsin was more utilized than locally available sources. Ceramic types reflect that Buffalo Lake initially had more affiliation with groups who derived from southerly regions of Wisconsin. Gradually, Buffalo Lake went from neighboring edges of distribution areas to transcending into the epicenter of different ceramic distribution areas. This likely indicates that Buffalo Lake went from neighboring territorial boundaries to a more centralized location for exchange of goods, ideas, and establishment of burial practice customs.


Firstly, I’d like to thank George Christiansen. You were my first mentor and champion in archaeology; providing the first set of tools and means of understanding what it takes to understand the concept of past human cultures. Thank for you for providing me the opportunity to find a profession I have grown to love 11 years later.

Thomas C. Pleger: Words cannot express how much you inspired me as a leader and another champion in this world. My passion for community enrichment, public learning, and sharing new-found knowledge with others would not be in my skillset without your guidance. I hope I made you proud.

Jack Steinbring: I was so fortunate to have known you, neighbor. Thank you for being a fellow local archaeologist who shared vast wealth of knowledge and information, and allowing me to be a part of your adventures. It has been an honor to discuss our research and interpretations. Thank you, dear friend.

I am appreciative to all the groups, organization, and facilities that aided me in my research: The Milwaukee Public Museum (and Dawn Scher-Thomae, curator), Wisconsin Historical Society, University of Michigan Anthropology Department, Kent State University Press, Illinois State Museum, Midwest Archaeology Center, and Wisconsin Archeological Society.

To my two brothers: Matt and Zach. You were my biggest supporters and challenged me to pursue my dreams. Thank you for being with me as the stars that shine brightest in the sky, guiding me along the way.

I'd like to express my gratitude to my cohort. I am delighted that our paths came to cross at St. Cloud State University. We went from being colleagues to establishing lifelong friendships. Thank you for being a tremendous influence in my life.

Finally, to me thesis committee: Robb Mann, Connie Arzigian, and Mark Muñiz. Thank you for your dedication, patience, and willingness to be a part of this journey. I am forever indebted to all of you for all the work you put in and not wanting to see me give up. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.



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