Native American history program July 21
The presentation will focus on Central Wisconsin's Native American cultures for the past 14,000 years.
Reser notes that Central Wisconsin has long been known as a biological transition zone, where plants and animals found to the north and south overlap. Wisconsin holds some of the earliest archaeological sites in North America, including the Schaefer and Mud Lake Mammoth Kill sites.
"Understanding our post-glacial landscapes and how humans utilized our area's ecosystems in the past can better help us preserve and pass on those resources today," he said.
Dr. Reser holds a PhD in archaeology and paleo-anthropology from the Australian National University, and an undergraduate degree in Geo-Archaeology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He is director of the UWSP Museum of Natural History and curator of the Archaeological and Anthropological collections.
He is also a member of Wisconsin's Archaeological Survey, a registered professional archaeologist and a listed consulting archaeologist with the Wisconsin State Historical Society.
"Archaeology, geology and our collective human past have always held a fascination for me. Having brothers who preceded me in age and adventure, I was fortunate to be exposed to fieldwork in paleontology and archaeology early on," Reser said. "These trips engendered a passion for geology and an appreciation of maps, good shovels, the deep past and spare tires."
The Iola Historical Society recently received on loan the extensive Native American artifact collection of Ray Towne, with some items dating back to 6,500 B.C. and earlier.
The artifacts were found throughout Waupaca County, including on Towne's Farmington farmland, Gill's Landing and the Chain O' Lakes.
Some of the artifacts are on display at the museum.
In addition to attending Reser's presentation, visitors may also tour the historical village, which includes Iola's original depot (currently undergoing renovation), a caboose, a fire station with Iola's first three original pieces of firefighting equipment, a one-room schoolhouse, the original Helvetia town hall (built in 1919), a 1930s log hunting cabin, and a large garage filled with vintage farm equipment and other items.
The presentation and village tour are free, although goodwill offerings are appreciated to help with the depot restoration.
The Historical Society will be open July 21, and Saturdays through the end of August, from noon to 3 p.m.
For more information, go to www.iolahistoricalsociety.org.
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