American Bottom Field Station (ABFS)
American Bottom Field Station had a slow September in terms of field work. Upcoming field projects in Jackson, Monroe, Madison, and St. Clair Counties are pending the harvest of crops or gaining property access. Instead efforts were focused on the completion of several Archaeological Survey Short Reports (ASSR) and a status memo for fieldwork related to the reconstruction of I-270 in Madison County. Analysis and writeup was also started for the No Danger site (11MS1636), a ca. 1860-1920 historic occupation in Godfrey, Illinois that was excavated as part of the FAP-310 project.
Central Illinois Field Station (CIFS)
Central Illinois Field Station has four projects on hold until harvest is completed in Johnson, Clay, Coles and Will counties. An ASSR is currently in production for the 400th Road Culvert Replacement over Mounts Branch in Clark County. The ASSR for the 3.4-acre bridge over the Hennepin feeder canal project in Bureau County was submitted to IDOT for review.
CIFS staff also assisted with geophysical survey work at the Copperas Creek site (11F100) near Banner in Fulton County for the US 24/IL 9 Bridge over Copperas Creek survey (ISAS Log# 18093; IDOT Seq. # 21697). Mike Smith submitted the report to IDOT for architectural resources associated with the Florence bridge crossing project in Pike and Scott counties, and continued work on the US 34 project in Henderson County. He will be assisting with photography of farmsteads in Stephenson County for the US 20 Lena project. He and Emilie Land will also be working on architectural reports/photography for the Kane and Cook county IL 62 survey (IDOT Seq. # 21392) and the I-80 Ridge Road to US 30 survey (ISAS Seq. # 15923A) in Grundy, Kendall and Will counties. On September 22, CIFS staff participated in the Allerton Family Campout event at Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello. Examples of artifacts were on display and a hands-on atl-atl demonstration was conducted.
Northern Illinois Field Station (NIFS)
Northern Illinois Field Station staff undertook fieldwork on projects in Cook, Lake, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties in advance of highway improvements or bridge repairs. Working with Mike Kolb and Andy Jalbert in Krape Park (Freeport, Stephenson County), on a natural levee of Yellow Creek, we identified a buried artifact scatter that included chert debris, burned limestone, calcined bone, and charcoal at approximately 45-55cmbs. An NIFS ongoing project related to expansion and construction of Rockford International airport, the former location of Camp Grant, founded in WWI, will focus on an area that includes the Bell Bowl, an earthwork constructed ca. 1915 for use as an amphitheater, military ceremonies, and for public events (such as a boxing matches and, most recently, rock concerts).
NIFS staff taught the archaeology portion of the Cook County Master Naturalist Program. This year the program took place at CCC Camp Skokie/WWII German POW Camp Glenview. UIC graduate student Jim Meierhoff gave a tour of the surviving structures; and NIFs staff provided information on the prehistory and early history of Cook County, federal and state cultural resource laws, methods for recording and preserving sites, and artifact identification. Practical demonstrations of flint knapping and the correct use of an atlatl were also part of the program.
Western Illinois Field Station (WIFS)
Western Illinois Field Station had another busy month of fieldwork punctuated with ongoing analyses, report production, and the documentation of collections. We undertook surveys in Knox, Fulton, and Schuyler counties, and finished the monitoring of the HSR 3rd Street Rail Crossings in Springfield. The Fulton County project has given us the opportunity to collaborate with the CIFS remote sensing team and Stratamorph GeoExploration, Inc., our geomorphologists, at the Copperas Creek site (11F100), a large Weaver-age (multicomponent) bluff base village in the central Illinois River valley that is partially located within the IDOT APE. The site has been known to the collecting and professional communities for more than 50 years but has never been subjected to any type of modern archaeological investigation. Our work contextualizing the site remains for the IDOT is being undertaken under the auspices of a permit granted by the IDNR, who oversee the property. Although this has been a recent focal point for fieldwork, WIFS also completed a number of ASSRs and ATSRs during the reporting period and documented a private artifact collection that an individual brought in to the Jacksonville office from the Ripley, Illinois area.