Wisconsin Historical Society: Welcomes James M. Skibo, state archaeologist

Madison, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society is pleased to welcome James M. Skibo, Ph.D., to the organization in the role of Wisconsin State Archaeologist. Skibo is a Michigan native who previously served in roles at Illinois State University for 27 years, first as a professor of anthropology and later as chair of the department.

“James brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, including a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, to his new role as Wisconsin State Archeologist,” said Christian Overland, the Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO for the Wisconsin Historical Society. “His contributions to the archaeological community are numerous and we are pleased to have him join the team.”

Skibo received his bachelor’s degree from Northern Michigan University where he was first introduced to archaeology. He earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of Arizona where he developed an interest in prehistoric pottery. While pursuing his post-graduate degrees at the University of Arizona, Skibo studied with Michael Brian Schiffer and the late William A. Longacre. He joined Longacre as a member of the Kalinga Ethnoarchaeological Project, one of the longest-running ethnoarchaeological projects ever undertaken with research focused on pottery producers in the northern Luzon region of the Philippines.

For his dissertation, Skibo developed pottery use-alteration analysis, a strategy that is used today by archaeologists worldwide and which was the subject of his first book. Skibo followed his first book with ten more publications, serving either as author or editor, about various aspects of pottery, technological change, and archaeological theory. He has also written numerous peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and co-edited the “Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory” for 17 years.

Skibo has directed the Grand Island Archaeological Research Program since 2000 and in 2012 was presented with the Excellence in Archaeological Analysis award by the Society for American Archaeology. He looks forward to taking on new challenges in his role as Wisconsin State Archaeologist.

About Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.