Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth B. Garland

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Sundick

Third Advisor

Dr. William Cremin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study examines the environmental factors influencing the location of prehistoric sites within the Portage River drainage. Over 100 sites recorded during four seasons of archaeological survey are examined applying the following environmental variables: type of glacial deposit, glacial landform, soil, distance to the nearest source of water, distance to the nearest ponded water, and vegetation zones occurring within 100, 500, and 1000 meters. Site locations are then statistically compared with the location of 100 randomly generated loci within the study area.

The findings of this research indicate that sites are non-randomly located with respect to certain environmental variables. Sites tend to be located: (a) on glacial outwash, (b) on well drained sandy loams formed on 0 to 6^0 slopes, (c) within 300 meters of water, (d) within 1.5 kilometers of ponded water, (e) proximal to floristically rich resource zones, and (f) at greater than expected distances from resource-poor zones.