Date of Award

May 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

John D Richards

Committee Members

Patirica B Richards, Robert Jeske, Jean Hudson, William Green


Ceramic Use Wear, Faunal Analysis, Foodways/Cooking, Paleoethnobotany, Western Great Lakes, Woodland


This dissertation project examines for evidence of substantial differences in community and community identity, as expressed through culinary traditions and foodways, of Early and Middle Woodland populations in the western Great Lakes region from circa 100 BC to AD 400. The research compares culinary traditions and foodways of Early and Middle Woodland populations in southeastern Wisconsin using multiple lines of fined grained material data derived from the Finch site (47JE0902). As an open air Early to Middle Woodland (ca 100 BC to AD 400) domestic habitation, the Finch site serves as a case study for elucidating culinary traditions and foodways at the community level. Implementing a multi-faceted approach, this study integrates traditional plant macrobotanical studies, faunal analyses, ceramic morphological and use wear analyses, and absorbed chemical residue analyses to provide a comprehensive overview of the intersection between food and community in this region of North America.

The results of the study indicate overall similarities in culinary traditions and foodways of Early and Middle Woodland populations. The archaeological data reveal little evidence suggesting that what is archaeologically recognized as Early and Middle Woodland correlate with distinct communities. Based on the Finch site culinary traditions and foodways, groups in the southeastern Wisconsin region of the western Great Lakes did not become fully embedded within a broader Havana Hopewellian relational or symbolic community. The social processes at play in southeastern Wisconsin during the Early and Middle Woodland are distinct from those processes occurring elsewhere in the Havana Hopewellian world, undoubtedly a factor in community identity formation and transformation within this region of the western Great Lakes. The study underscores the importance and utility of incorporating multiple lines of material evidence to address archaeological research questions and challenges the current taxonomic classification schema for southeastern Wisconsin.