Human presence on the landscape: 50 years of archeology at the Apostle Islands

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Archaeological investigations at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore started in earnest shortly after the Lakeshore was designated in the early 1970s. Investigations have continued in the intervening years. This talk will share the stories of human use of the islands that archaeological work has illuminated for us thus far.

The archaeological record at the Apostles is diverse, including sites related to fishing, logging, farming, and occupation from 5000 years ago to the mid-20th century. The information gained through archaeological excavations helps us appreciate the many ways in which people have shaped the natural environment throughout the past.

As we look to the future of the Lakeshore, this knowledge will inform preservation planning and further study for the archaeological treasures of the Apostles.

Presenter biography

Dawn Bringelson, Midwest Archaeological Center

Dawn Bringelson

Dawn worked for the NPS Midwest Archaeological Center from 1998 to 2019 as an Archaeologist, providing support to parks across the region.

She has worked closely with Apostle Islands National Lakeshore since 2007, both as a field researcher and compliance advisor.

Her work in the Apostles has been especially valuable to her, highlighting the intersection of natural and cultural resources and the joy of collaborating with park staff on management issues.

She moved to the NPS National Historic Landmarks program in 2020 and has recently joined Yosemite National Park’s resource management division. She is taking lessons learned in the Apostles with her. Dawn earned degrees in Anthropology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Washington.


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