Scott J. Demel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Office: 2410 Jamrich Hall; 906-227-2843
Archaeology Lab: 2313 Jamrich Hall
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (major in Archaeology, minor in Geology)
MA University of Illinois at Chicago
BS University of Wisconsin-Madison
Courses Currently Taught by Dr. Demel (bold = current semester)
AN 101 Introduction to Physical Anthropology & Archaeology (2 sessions)
AN 265 Archaeology of the Ancient Americas
AN 295 Ancient Mesoamerican Civilizations
AN 295 Cultural Resource Management
AN 315 Myth, Mystery, and Fraud in Anthropology
AN 355 Seminar in Archaeological Field Methods (archaeology field school)
AN 375 Archaeology Lab Methods
AN 390 Museum Studies
AN 420 Experimental Archaeology
AN 430 Historical Archaeology
AN 440 History of Anthropology
AN 450 Forensic Anthropology
AN 495 Special Topics in Anthropology (various courses):
Prehistoric Archaeology Field & Lab Methods
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 or with include:
The Mt. Mesnard Site (1890s red sandstone quarry and Archaic quartzite quarry site), Marquette, MI
The Goose Lake Outlet #3 Site, Marquette, MI (lithic analysis)
The Theodore Protar Homestead, Beaver Island, MI
The Cable's Bay Fishing Village, Beaver Island, MI
The Egbert/Burke Farmstead, Beaver Island, MI
The Mormon Print Shop - Isle du Castor Site (Late Woodland, Contact Period, Mormon occupation), 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)
Chicago's Lakefront Archaeology Project - Museum Campus (IL)
Chinatown Museum Project/Chinatown (Chicago IL)
Recent and Current Work
- Participated in the Marquette Regional History Center's Archaeology Fair in October, 2019
- Attended the annual Midwest Archaeological Conference (2017), and the Conference on Michigan Archaeology.
- 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.
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, under revision).
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)
Legg, Robert J.a, Joyce Neilsonc, and Scott J. Demelb (2020). Novel use of cathodoluminescence to identify differences in source rocks for late PalaeoIndian quartzite tools in Archaeometry.
Legg, Robert J., and Scott J. Demel (2019). Ground Penetrating Radar in the northern Great Lakes: a trial survey of a Contact Period occupation in Marquette County, Michigan in Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, Published online, December 2019; Volume 45, 2020 - Issue 1.
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.