Early Cultures: Pre-European Peoples of Wisconsin
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Rockshelters
Rockshelter
Rockshelters are shallow caves or shelters formed in hillsides. People often used such places as winter camping areas, because they provided shelter and protection from the wind and cold. Sites such as Raddatz Rockshelter or Preston Rockshelter in southwestern Wisconsin were popular places to spend the winter. Within the rockshelter small groups of people built fires, cooked, slept, made tools, and probably prepared hides for clothing. Garbage from these activities was left behind. Over the years, sand or rocks from the bedrock above would fall to the ground and bury this garbage. Later inhabitants would live on the new surface, leave their garbage, and it would again be buried. This happened many times, creating a layered record of occupations. These layers were excavated by archaeologists to learn about the different people and how they changed through time. They have found many projectile points, scrapers, and also many deer bone and nutshell fragments that tell us something about the dinners of the ancient people.

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