American Bottom Field Station (ABFS)
ABFS field crew completed pedestrian, shovel, and auger test surveys in Madison, St. Clair, Randolph, and Saline counties. Both WIFS and CIFS field crew joined ABFS in Chester to conduct investigations for a proposed Mississippi River Bridge crossing. Altogether this work resulted in the identification of 17 new archaeological sites and the revisit of 9 previously reported sites. Fieldwork is ongoing along I-270 in Madison County and survey in June will include a revisit to portions of the Mitchell site (11MS30). Four new projects were recently received in Washington, Marion, Madison, and Williamson counties respectively that will be investigated in the upcoming weeks.
Central Illinois Field Station (CIFS)
Four ASSRs for projects completed in Effingham, Douglas, Will, Grundy and Kendall counties were submitted to IDOT for review. 1 ASSR for a project in Will County has been submitted to Statewide Office for review. CIFS staff assisted the American Bottom Field Station and Northern Illinois Field Station with large shovel testing projects in Randolph and Winnebago counties. CIFS staff also assisted Dr. Jacob Skousen with investigations and mound maintenance at the Samuel’s Mounds group in Allerton Park.
Emilie Land (Historic Architectural Compliance Specialist) and Mike Smith (Cultural Resource Specialist) have been working on Historic Resource Inventory reports for bridge crossing projects in Chester (Randolph County) and Florence (Pike and Scott counties). Emilie is also relocating from the IDOT District 8 office to our American Bottom Field Station.
Northern Illinois Field Station (NIFS)
Over the past month, NIFS completed field surveys in Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties (D1); and in Lee and Winnebago Counties (D2). One project in particular, located in the uplands along U.S. Route 30 in Kane County (Log 17088), resulted in the considerable expansion of several (now large) previously recorded Archaic sites; unfortunately, landowner access issues currently prohibit site revisits of an additional seven sites in this project area. The NIFS crew revisited 11 mound sites in Jo Daviess County, mapping over 65 linear and conical mounds. Local avocational archaeologist Thomas Smith brought in a collection of ceramics and chipped stone tools recovered from the Briscoe Mounds area ca. 1928, perhaps during the period when Langford was working in the area. Mr. Smith graciously left his collection with us for 3 weeks so we could photograph and document the material. The collection contains about 80 items dating to the Early, Middle, and Late Woodland periods. He plans to provide a portion of his collection to a local library on long term loan for an exhibit. And last, but certainly not least, NIFS welcomes back Lauren Fitts! Lauren spent the last 3 months as an Anthropology Collections Assistant with the Field Museum in Chicago.
Western Illinois Field Station (WIFS)
WIFS staff completed excavations at the Cardosi site. This project was part of an IDOT borrow project. WIFS staff also excavated at the Stilwell II site. The units tested lie within the IDOT project ROW. The goal of excavation was to determine National Register eligibility and develop a preservation plan to proect the site. The Stilwell site has the oldest recorded dog burial in North America. https://www.history.com/news/early-americans-buried-their-dogs-like-family