South Central Wisconsin
The Museum Archaeology Program involvement in the archaeological investigation of the proposed U.S.H. 12 reconstruction from Middleton to Sauk City began in 1989. Ultimately, a total of 68 archaeological sites were identified. In 1993 and 1994, additional investigation was conducted at 18 of these sites. Only three sites, two pre-contact Native American habitation sites and one Civil War era Post Office, were determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Additional archaeological work is planned for these three sites prior to the road construction.
Further research at the Native American sites can contribute to the understanding of culture change, trade, and interaction during a period of cultural diversity in south-central Wisconsin. Research will focus on the Middle-to-Late Archaic and Late Woodland occupations. Many questions remain unanswered for these stages, such as site distribution, community plan, changes in population size, interrelationship between groups, material culture assemblages, and subsistence strategies.
The Aldens Corners Post Office provides an opportunity to study a rural crossroads community of German immigrants that existed between 1860 and 1879. A post office, as a symbol of the federal government, was important to the birth and growth of a small community. Research at the site will provide an inventory the material culture of a mid to late 19th century business and residence of short duration, as well as, enable the study of social and economic status, diet, and ethnicity of the residents. The Alden's Corners Post Office is unique for the region, as no other post office sites in a non-military setting, have been studied.