Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Benjamin Ford, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sarah Neusius, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Richard Hoch, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Seth DePasqual, M.S.


This study involves development and analysis of a predictive model for Isle Royale National Park (ISRO), aimed at investigating archaeological sites located on the relict Nipissing shoreline, which dates to approximately 5,000 years B.P. Geologic studies on the island have revealed the location of the Nipissing shoreline, which has migrated inland as a result of post-glacial isostatic rebound. Most archaeological research at ISRO has focused on the present-day beaches, resulting in data biased toward the later Woodland Period. This study uses known site data combined with environmental variables to model probability for past indigenous use. Results of the model indicate an approximately 72 percent success rate. Analysis of variables and recent field survey data indicates that the Nipissing shoreline was likely utilized by Archaic groups for purposes primarily related to travel and expedient material processing, while questions related to copper procurement and settlement activity remain unclear.