Researchers at the University of Washington Museum of Natural History and Science (NWMS) have discovered an ancient civilization in the middle of what is now Wisconsin.
The UWM is one of the world’s largest research institutions, with an extensive collection of fossils, archaeological remains, and artifacts that are part of the state’s collection.
The UWM’s collections include more than 1,400 bones, some of which were found in an excavation in 1879.
The bones were brought to the UWM in the 1880s by John G. Steed, a professor of anatomy and a pioneer in reconstructing the human skull.
He and his colleagues studied the skulls and found that the skull belonged to a woman of approximately 50 to 60 years old.
“We found the teeth and some bones that were found under the chin and some bone under the nose,” Steed said.
“That was very exciting because those were teeth that were not found before.
I thought, ‘Wow, I think this is a woman.'”
In fact, the UW’s collection is so impressive that its curator, Dr. Lisa E. Nussbaum, was so impressed that she and her team began excavating the remains and other artifacts.
The team uncovered a number of skeletons that date back to the first century B.C. and found bones that appear to have been worn in some fashion by a woman who had not yet been identified.
The new research was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Nussbaum and her colleagues also unearthed a bronze spear, a fragment of a flint, and several other items.
“They’re incredibly well preserved,” Nussberg said.
The team was able to trace the remains back to a village in southwestern Wisconsin, where the Bronze Age settlement was established, and it was there that they discovered that the site had been occupied for about a decade.
The village is now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“The discovery is really a win-win for us,” said Nussberts colleague and UW professor of anthropology Peter Biederman, who was not involved in the research.
“There’s a large collection of preserved artifacts and the research is part of what’s keeping the site alive and thriving.”
“We have to remember that these are the early days of anthropology and it’s really exciting to have a piece of it and study it in such a way,” Biedermans co-author and UW anthropology professor Scott D. Taylor said.
“You don’t always get a chance to see the way people interacted with each other,” said Taylor, who is also a UW faculty member and was not directly involved in this research.
“When you are working with a group of people you want to learn about all their different cultures, their histories, what their attitudes were and how they viewed the world.
So the study here really shows that it’s possible to look at these artifacts and reconstruct how people interacted, what they ate and what they lived with.”
The artifacts were discovered in the 1980s and were donated to the University in 1997.
“These are really wonderful artifacts, but there are a lot of really wonderful things that have come out of this project,” Nausbaum said.
Nausbaum has a long history with anthropology, having studied at the UWs School of Oriental and African Studies and in the Department of African Studies at the School of Arts and Sciences.
Nosher, who also holds a doctorate in anthropology from Harvard University, has been studying the ancient Native Americans of the Americas for more than 30 years.
Her research has focused on how the Native Americans interacted with other cultures and how their languages evolved.
She was particularly interested in the role of the cultural traditions of the West in the development of early European culture.
“What is the relationship between European settlers and Native Americans?
We don’t know much about that,” Nosher said.
But the research has helped to explain the cultural differences between the Native American and European peoples, she said.