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Conservancy Day: Mammoth to Muskets

November 19, 2020 @ 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM


13,000+ Years of Human History Around Pheasant Branch Conservancy

This presentation will focus on human history that has occurred and archaeology that has been discovered around the Conservancy and greater Madison area. The presenter, Ryan L. Howell, will summarize the ancient Native American history in this area dating back beyond the last Ice Age, the historical presence of the Ho-Chunk from ancient to modern times, and the initially early arrival of Europeans during the Fur Trade era of the 1600-1800’s. Specific archaeological sites that represent these periods located around and nearby Pheasant Branch Conservancy will be discussed and relevant archaeological artifacts typical of those sites will be shown.

Speaker Biography:  

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.

His hobbies include giving educational talks to school groups, making and hunting with stone tools, and running a 2,500 member Facebook group named “Wisconsin Archaeological Artifacts” that focuses on public education about archaeology, artifacts and tribal issues in Wisconsin.

His archaeological research interests include both the pre-contact and historic contact eras of Wisconsin history, with specific published articles focused on the Archaic, Woodland and Fur Trade eras. In Dane County, his work has focused on burial mound sites, Ho-Chunk Nation villages and 1810’s fur trade posts many of which can be found within a handful of miles from the Pheasant Branch Conservancy.

Register to receive the Zoom link for the presentation.

Every Conservancy Day is:

  • Free — thanks to your donations and membership as a Friend
  • Open to the public
  • For all ages unless a specific age group is given in the program description
  • Diverse topics  More than 400 participants each year enjoy topics ranging from wildlife, science, resource management, natural and cultural history and current community issues

Mark your calendars for these inspiring and special events the third Thursday of each month, from January through November.


November 19, 2020
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Event Category: