2015 Distinguished Career Award: James Stoltman


James Stoltman
2015 Distinguished Career Award Recipient James Stoltman with MAC Board President Robert Jeske

Jim’s career began in 1961 and continues to this day. His scholarly writings and contributions have been referred to as a “stream of landmark and influential publications.” His career accomplishments are also reflected through his teaching record; he has trained numerous students who themselves are now training another generation of archaeologists.

His work has ranged from Paleoindian to the Late Prehistoric. His investigations of shelter sites lead to clarifying the chronology Archaic Tradition in Western Wisconsin. He provided a baseline framework for understanding northern Minnesota’s Laurel Culture. He initiated a research program centered on the Upper Mississippi River floodplain that resulted in the clarification of Early Woodland and Middle Woodland phases and typological relations. He also examined the Effigy Mound Culture, excavated the Middle Mississippian Fred Edwards site, and conducted research into Oneota interactions with Middle Mississippian populations. These studies established the chronological and typological foundation for nearly all subsequent archaeology in a broad reach of the Upper Mississippi Valley centered on the Driftless Area.

His work on ceramic petrography has been instrumental in recognizing local vs. nonlocal production of ceramics, and hence, higher level inferences on human population movements in the Woodland.

A founding member of the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Jim also served as editor for the Wisconsin Archeologist and has performed service on many other government and professional boards.