A Brief History of Archeologists who worked at Aztalan

The site of Aztalan has been the subject of numerous archeological investigations since it was first thoroughly mapped by Increase A Lapham in 1850.  The most extensive excavations were conducted by Samual Barrett of the Milwaukee Public Museum in 1919, 1920, and 1932.  His book, “Ancient Aztalan”, remains the most comprehensive published account of excavations at the site. It was Barrett’s work at Aztalan that led to the discovery of the extensive stockade system that protected the inhabitants during Aztalan’s peak around 1100 A.D.

In the years since Barrett’s excavations, research by a number of archeologists have taken place at Aztalan.  Between 1949 and 1968 archeologists from the Wisconsin Archeological Survey who conducted excavations at Aztalan read like a who’s who of famous Wisconsin archeologists.  These include Warren Witry, Dave Baerries, Chandler Rowe, Moreau Maxwell, Joan Freeman, and William Hurley.  More recently, excavations conducted by Lynne Goldstein and John Richards  in the 1980’s and 2011 have expanded our knowledge of Aztalan.

State Archeologist Mark Dudzik and Dr. Lynne Goldstein discuss plans for Aztalan excavations.

State Archeologist Mark Dudzik and Dr. Lynne Goldstein discuss plans for Aztalan excavations.

This year’s excavations by Dr. Goldstein and  Dr. Richards will undoubtedly add valuable information on the inhabitants of Wisconsin’s most famous archeological site.