Scott Demel

Scott J. Demel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology

Dr Scott DemelOffice: 2410 Jamrich Hall; 906-227-2843
Archaeology Lab: 2313 Jamrich Hall; 906-227-2848


PhD University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (major in Archaeology, minor in Geology)
MA University of Illinois at Chicago
BS University of Wisconsin-Madison

Courses Taught at NMU (bold = current semester)

AN 101  Introduction to Physical Anthropology & Archaeology
AN 295  Archaeology of the Ancient Americas
              Ancient Mesoamerican Civilizations
AN 355  Seminar in Archaeological Field Methods (summer field school)
AN 420  Experimental Archaeology
AN 495  Special Topics in Anthropology (various courses):
              Archaeology Field & Lab Methods
              Historical Archaeology
              ​Prehistoric Archaeology Field & Lab Methods
​              History of Anthropology
              Museum Studies I & II    
              Forensic Anthropology (with CJ instructor)
AN 498  Directed Studies (various topics)
              Health, Society, and Culture
              Physical/Biological & Economic Anthropology
              Great Lakes Faunal Analysis
              Archaeology of China
              Ancient Mesoamerican Farming Methods
              Archaeology Lab Collections Management Methods
              McNair Scholar Research
              Lithic Analysis
              Faunal Analysis

Teaching and Professional History

2009-Present: NMU. Assistant Professor
2001-2009: The Field Museum. Department of Anthropology, Head of Collections

Research and Teaching Interests

Geographic areas: North America/Great Lakes/Midwest
                           ​Coastal and Island Archaeology

I am interested in how different ethnic groups have used the Great Lakes throughout prehistory and into the mid 19th century. To fully understand the opportunities available along these inland coasts I also study all aspects of the natural environment and cultural landscape to learn how humans have adapted to this dynamic landscape.

Prior to coming to NMU I worked for eight years at The Field Museum in Chicago where I was the Head of Collections for the Department of Anthropology. This position afforded me the opportunity to study firsthand the intricate details of material culture of ethnic groups from around the globe. I also had the opportunity to meet with indigenous representatives that were seeking to repatriate objects or remains, and to be trained in the use of analytical equipment such as an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) elemental analyzer. During this period I also taught courses in archaeology and co-directed archaeology field schools for DePaul University.

Some of the archaeological sites I have worked on include:
                   The Goose Lake Outlet #3 Site, Marquette, MI (lithic analysis)
                   The Cable's Bay Fishing Village, Beaver Island, MI
                   The Burke Farm, Beaver Island, MI
​                   The MPS-Isle de Castor Village Site (Middle Woodland) on Beaver Island, MI
                   Relocating Camp Douglas - Civil War Prison (Chicago)
                   The Tetter Homestead – Kankakee IL (reconstruction era)
                   Pullman State Historic Site - Chicago (early industrial)
                   The Kubinski Site - a Middle Woodland Ossuary (Romeoville, IL)
                   The Brewster Creek Mastodon (DuPage County, IL)

Recent and Current Work

  • Will be participating in the Marquette Regional History Center's Archaeology Fair in October, 2015
  • Presented co-authored paper at the Society for American Archaeology conference in April 2015; The Goose Lake Outlet #3 Site - A Proto-historic site in the Western Great Lakes Region.
  • Recently attended the conference on Michigan Archaeology (2014), and the Midwest Archaeological Conference (2014).

Selected Publications & Conference Presentations


Demel, Scott J. (2014). Cultural Features at the New Lenox Site in The Late Prehistoric and Proto-Historic Components at the New Lenox Site, Illinois; edited by Rochelle Lurie (submitted).

Lurie, Rochelle, Doug Kullen, and Scott J. Demel (2009).  Defining the Archaic in Northern Illinois – In Archaic Societies – Diversity and Complexity Across the Midcontinent; edited by Thomas E. Emerson, Dale L. McElrath, and Andrew C. Fortier (Albany: State University of New York Press, March 2009)

Journal Articles:

Demel, Scott J. (2013). Cahokia Borrow Pit 5-1A in Illinois Archaeology, Illinois Archeological Survey, Inc., vol. 25, pp. 75-105.

Demel, Scott J. (2009). Brewster Creek Mastodon Camp!: Engaging Teens & Teachers in Scientific Inquiry, DuPage County, Illinois in Current Research in the Pleistocene; vol. 26: (submitted).

Pestle, William, Scott J. Demel, Michael Colvard, and Robert Pickering. (2007). Skeletal Biology and Mortuary Practice at the Kubinski Site (11-WI-1186), a Middle Woodland Ossuary in Illinois Archaeology; vol. 19: 47-84.

Demel, Scott J. (2007). Three Rediscovered Clovis Points From The Field Museum Collections in Current Research in the Pleistocene; vol. 24: 76-77.

Recent Conference Presentations:

2013 Midwest Archaeological Conference. Session - Late Prehistoric Period Studies: Ohio Valley and Michigan: MPS – Isle de Castor Site – A Seasonal Late Woodland Camp on Beaver Island, Lake Michigan.

2012 Midwest Archaeological Conference. Invited Symposium: In Memorium: Robert Hall, Doyen of Midwestern Archaeology – Popcorn, Cahokia’s Sense of Place, and Great Lakes Archaeology.

2012 Society for American Archaeology (SAA), Memphis, TN. Session: Historic Archaeology of Eastern North America - Fishermen and Farmers: An Archaeological Look at Life on Beaver Island, Lake Michigan during the mid-19th century.

2011 Midwest Archaeological Conference (MAC) La Crosse, WI. Session: Historic Archaeology - Artifact Density, Distribution, and Displacement in the Dunal Environment of the ca. 1848-1860s Cable’s Bay Fishing Village, Beaver Island, Lake Michigan.

2010 Society for American Archaeology (SAA), St. Louis, MO. Session: The Late Prehistoric and Proto-Historic Components at the New Lenox Site - The Interpretation of Cultural Features and Structures at the New Lenox Site (11-Wi-213), a 15th-17th Century Site Near Chicago, Illinois.