Scott J. Demel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Office: 2410 Jamrich Hall; 906-227-2843
Archaeology Lab: 2313 Jamrich Hall
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
Prehistoric Archaeology Field & Lab Methods
History of Anthropology
Museum Studies I & II
Myth, Mystery, and Fraud in Anthropology
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
Teaching and Professional History
2015-Present: NMU. Associate Professor
2009-2014: 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 Mt. Mesnard Site (1890s quarry and Archaic quarry site)
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 and Contact Period) 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
- Participated 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.
- Attended the annual Midwest Archaeological Conference (2014, 2015, 2016), and the Conference on Michigan Archaeology (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)
Demel, Scott J. (2016). Acculturation processes on "island time" - The Late Woodland to Proto-historic transition and early historical period on Beaver Island in Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology (submitted).
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:
2016 Presented Acculturation processes on "island time" - The Late Woodland to Proto-historic transition and early historical period on Beaver Island at the annual Midwest Archaeological Conference (2016).
2015 Presented The Goose Lake Outlet #3 Site (20MQ140), a proto-historic site in the Western Great Lakes region at the annual Midwest Archaeological Conference (2015); co-authors include: Marla Buckmaster, Terrance Martin, Jim Paquette, and Kathryn Parker.
2015 Presented co-authored paper at the Society for American Archaeology conference in April; The Goose Lake Outlet #3 Site - A Proto-historic site in the Western Great Lakes Region.
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.