From Mammoths to Muskets – 13,000+ Years of Human History In and Around Pheasant Branch Conservancy

In this recorded program Archaeologist Ryan J. Howell provides an excellent overview of ancient Native American history in Southern Wisconsin dating from the last Ice Age and the historical presence of the Ho-Chunk from ancient to modern times. He helps you visualize what this area looked like 13,000 years ago, what animals lived here then, what tools humans made to hunt them, and other fascinating information about the archeology of this area.

This program was presented by Pheasant Branch Conservancy, Middleton, WI in November 19, 2020. Pheasant Branch Creek and the Conservancy, is a 550-acre natural area that contains a marsh with open water, springs, prairies, meadows, lowland forest, and wooded hills. Native American effigy mounds can be found here.

While Ryan centers part of his talk on the Pheasant Branch area which is located near Middleton, WI, Northwest of Lake Mendota, the archaeological material covered is relevant to the entire Rock River watershed, of which the Pheasant Branch Creek is part of. If you’d like more information on Wisconsin archeology, Ryan manages a Facebook group named “Wisconsin Archaeological Artifacts” that focuses on public education about archaeology, artifacts and tribal issues in Wisconsin.

Ryan J. Howell, M.A., RPA, WAS, has done field archaeology and conducted archaeological research in Wisconsin for more than 25 years. He currently works as a DoD archaeologist for the U.S. Army and lives in Middleton, WI. He received his B.A in Archaeology/Anthropology from the University of Wyoming and his Master’s at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998. He has worked doing archaeology in private-commercial, tribal and government sectors throughout the Upper Midwest, with former employers as diverse as the U.S Army, the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center (MVAC) and the Prairie Island M’dewankanton Dakota.

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