Date of Award

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

John D. Richards

Committee Members

Patricia B. Richards, Robert J. Jeske, Lindsay J. McHenry, James M. Skibo


Ceramic Production, Early Woodland, Middle Woodland, North Bay, Performance Characteristics, Richter Site


The Richter site (47DR80) was excavated by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee archaeological field schools during the summers of 1968 and 1973 under the direction of Guy Gibbon and G. Richard Peske. This site was identified by excavators as a North Bay Middle Woodland culture occupation based on Ronald Mason’s typology created from his work at the Mero and Porte des Morts sites on Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula. Although various specialized analyses have focused on aspects of the Richter site material culture, no site report or overall analysis of material culture exists. This study provides the first synthetic account of the UWM excavations and the associated material culture recovered from the site. Examination of ceramic materials from the Richter site document differences in ceramic production methods at the site. Paddle and anvil construction, using a cordmarked paddle, date to Early Woodland occupations at the site. Coil building, resulting in smoothed surfaced Laurel-like vessels, date to the Middle Woodland. The results indicate the need for changes to the existing North Bay taxon to include greater time depth and changes in manufacturing technology. Variations in the decisions of potters are documented and discussed utilizing a performance-based life history approach.