Using Archaeological Data to Document and Understand Sustainability and Resilience Issues

Using Archaeological Data to Document and Understand Sustainability and Resilience Issues Related to Lake Sturgeon and Wild Rice (INT)
James A. Robertson, Michigan Department of Transportation
Additional Contributor: Michael J. Hambacher, Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group, Inc.

Recent excavations were recently completed at two archaeological sites along the Grand River in Ottawa County by Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group, Inc. for the Michigan Department of Transportation. The primary occupations investigated at the sites date to approximately AD 1400 to AD 1500. Evidence for wild rice and lake sturgeon was uncovered, two species that have nearly disappeared from the Grand River watershed. This information and information from other Great Lakes archaeological sites document that these two species have played important roles in the foodways and lifeways of the people in the Grand River watershed for thousands of years. The data also supports the efforts by Michigan Indian Tribes to restore and sustain healthy, vibrant populations of these species to the Grand River and beyond.

James A. Robertson, Michigan Department of Transportation
James A. Robertson is senior staff archaeologist for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). He is responsible for reviewing MDOT projects for archaeological impacts, compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act as they relate to archaeological resources, day-to-day management of the MDOT Archaeology Program and staff, and carrying out project- specific consultation with Michigan Indian Tribes. He also serves as editor of MDOT's Environmental Research Series. Prior to joining MDOT in September of 2008, Dr. Robertson worked as an archaeologist, cultural resource manager and historic preservation specialist in private consulting, academic and museum settings. He is the author/co-author of 19 published research articles in scientific journals and books. He holds a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a doctoral degree from Michigan State University in anthropology.