News & Activities

A Wooster Site dig will take place Sunday, April 25. As of 4:00 PM Thursday, April 22 a few spaces are still open on the dig crew.  MAS members  who have not yet signed up and would like to participate, email Dan Wymer: 

Participants are required to comply with all State of Michigan COVID related mandates in effect on the day of the dig.

Upcoming Detroit Chapter Event:



In this time of a national pandemic emergency, I have decided to order the immediate suspension of all group activities of the Michigan Archaeological Society through the end of June 2020. This includes all chapter meetings and presentations, the Annual Spring General Membership Meeting, as well as workshops, group excavations, public archaeology and outreach activities.

The obvious exceptions are online activities, solo projects, or projects involving intimate partners only. For instance, my wife and I will continue working at home to catalog items recovered in past workshops (and what a better time for it?)

Before coming to this decision I sought the advice of members, chapter presidents and the executive board, all who agreed that we must take these steps to protect our members during this pandemic. I also consulted advice coming from our public health officials, and finally queried my own conscience in deciding that this would be the best choice for the welfare of all of our members.

In the meantime, the Upper Grand Valley Chapter does have a few presentations that we videoed in the past, and I am going to try to release these to all members very soon. I suggest all chapters continue to maintain fellowship through email, Facebook and other virtual methods. If you are new to Facebook there’s no better time to start than now! You can find our group by searching for “Michigan Archaeological Society” or this link: Michigan Archaeological Society

If you have any content that we can distribute online, please let me know and we will do our best to continue to disseminate new and interesting information about archaeology in Michigan.

And finally, some GOOD NEWS:

Volume 60 of our fine publication, The Michigan Archaeologist has gone out in the mail, so this should give our members something to look forward to! Wondering what to do with all this unexpected time at home? Consider writing something for The Michigan Archaeologist, as we are always in need of material for upcoming volumes. In particular, I know our editor Dr. Michael Hambacher would welcome submission of smaller articles than those we have been typically publishing lately. So if you have been sitting on something you meant to get published sooner or later, now is the time!

The MAS Executive Board will continue to evaluate the situation and will meet via emails and conference calls. I will provide updates to the general membership as to our plans for resumption of regular activities and the General Membership Meeting once we have determined those plans.

I appreciate your patience and understanding in these difficult and unique days. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

David Cusack

President, Michigan Archaeological Society



Archaeology Day 2019 is Saturday, October 19 at the Michigan History Center in Lansing. Admission is free and parking is free. You can visit the Michigan History Center website by clicking here.








As we approach the end of calendar year 2019, please don’t forget to pay your 2020 MAS membership dues. It only takes a few minutes to pay with your credit or debit card if you go to the About Membership page and use the simple PayPal  payment process.

The 2019 MAS Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, April 28 in Ionia at the John C. Blanchard House Ionia County Historical Society Museum.  MAS members in attendance very much appreciated the hospitality of the Historical Society and the opportunity to meet in such a strikingly beautiful historic building.  The home is constructed of very colorful sandstone quarried from bedrock near Ionia and the interior is furnished with a wonderful collection of period antiques. For anyone who has never visited the Blanchard House, a stop there is highly recommended:

A high point of the 2019 annual meeting was the presentation of awards recognizing MAS members for important contributions they have made in the practice and promotion of archaeology in Michigan:

Dr. Dean Anderson was presented with the MAS Merit Award. The Merit Award recognizes sustained, outstanding, and significant contributions to Michigan archaeology. Dean has served as an archaeologist for the state for 27 years including the past 9 as Michigan’s State Archaeologist. He has promoted public outreach, particularly at the annual Archaeology Day event that has expanded to include over 100 professional and avocational program participants from across the state and now attracts over 1000 attendees. Guided by  his leadership, Archaeology Day has become THE event for Michigan archaeology. He has also guided maintenance of the State Archaeological Site File, the primary data set for thousands of years of Michigan archaeology. Dean has been known for providing stewardship to students, avocationals, and professionals alike. 

Donna Davis was recognized with a Distinguished Service Award. Donna has worked at a number of sites around Michigan. Most notably, though, she has served as MAS Treasurer for 14 years in addition to serving as Treasurer of the Clinton Valley Chapter for 7 years.

Theresa Breza was presented with the Distinguished Service Award. Theresa has volunteered at a number of sites in Michigan. Most notable is her service as MAS Secretary for 13 years in addition to many years as Secretary of the Saginaw Valley Chapter.


Julia Joblinski received the MAS Student Award. Julia has volunteered at a number of sites around Michigan, presented papers on archaeological subjects, and is now serving on the MAS state board.

Bob Theiner was recognized by the MAS with a Volunteer Award. Bob has assisted at a number of sites, most notably at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary where he helps document and curate nearly 2,000 artifacts. He is currently the Thunder Bay Chapter Vice President.


Ken Kosidlo, John Heintz, Dave Hamilton, and Mike Mauer of the Castle Museum team were recognized with Volunteer Awards. They have assisted in field and lab work, particularly at the Clunie Site, a Late Prehistoric  habitation site in the Saginaw Valley. Together they have logged nearly 3,500 hours in the field and an astounding 11,000+ hours in the lab.




Everyone enjoyed the 2018 field workshop so much that discussions are underway about conducting another fall workshop for MAS members at the same prehistoric site in 2019. A report on the workshop results will be presented at the upcoming annual meeting. Discussions have also begun about a possible historic site spring workshop at the Leelanau County Poor Farm.

The 2019 MAS Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, April 28 in Ionia at the John C. Blanchard House, 253 East Main Street.  The Blanchard House is the Ionia County Historical Society museum.  More details will be posted as they become available.

At the February 17 Michigan Archaeological Society Executive Board Meeting an updated Code of Ethics for Michigan Archaeological Society Members was unanimously approved. To view the updated Code click here.

Time is running out. The 2019 deadline for nominating MAS members to receive awards is March 1.  Nominations can be made by any MAS member in good standing. 

We thank Brooklyn Exponent Newspaper publisher Matt Schepeler for permission to post this copyrighted article on our website:


Archaeology Day 2018 at the Michigan History Center in Lansing is October 13. Admission is free and parking is free. Be sure to mark your calendar.

For details click here:  Archaeology Day

Two great new books have just been published:

Prehistoric Copper Mining in Michigan – The Nineteenth-Century Discovery of “Ancient Diggings” in the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale by John Halsey

Manoomin – The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan by Barbara Barton

For more information click here.

The MAS Facebook page is a great place to stay in touch with what’s happening in archaeology. To visit the MAS Facebook page click here.

MAS local chapters are the best source of up-to-date information about chapter meetings, guest speakers, and local events.  For a menu of links to individual chapter information click here.

To see past News & Activities postings click here to go to the News & Activities Archives.