American Bottom Field Station (ABFS)
ABFS fieldwork was limited during the past month but crew did complete a shovel test survey in Monroe County in addition to project visits in St. Clair County, and a borrow project visit in Monroe and St. Clair Counties. No new archaeological sites were identified and no previously reported sites were revisited. Time was spent on the completion of multiple Archaeological Survey Short Reports (ASSR) and the writeup of the No Danger site (11MS1636) report. Upcoming field projects in Jackson and Monroe Counties are scheduled, pending the harvest of crops and property access.
Central Illinois Field Station (CIFS)
CIFS submitted three ASSRs for IDOT review for projects in Clark, Will, and Coles counties. One ASSR is currently in preparation for a project in Clay County. One survey remains to be completed in Johnson County once harvest is completed. Mike Smith continued work on the US 34 project in Henderson County, and assisted with photography of farmsteads in Stephenson County for the US 20 Lena project. He and Emilie Land completed work 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. CIFS staff also continued to assist Curation staff with various projects.
Northern Illinois Field Station (NIFS)
NIFS staff continued with survey projects and burial site revisits in Winnebago County. Fieldwork continues at the Rockford International Airport, in areas coincident with the former location of WWI through WWII Camp Grant. The WWI Bell Bowl earthwork/amphitheater remains extant in this area, as do over 75 cement tent pads. A number of artifacts associated with WWI have been identified, including an 11th Field Artillery soldier’s dog tag and 6 Stokes mortars. As part of our public outreach mission, staff recorded a collection of groundstone artifacts that has been incorporated into a landscape structure on private property in Winnetka. Early in November, NIFS staff will install an artifact and book exhibit at the Trailside Museum in Riverside; displays will focus on the archaeology of Cook County. NIFS staff will also provide two artifact identification workshops in conjunction with the exhibit – prehistoric artifacts in November, and historic artifacts in December. Additionally, NIFS staff hosted an ISAS information table at the annual Calumet National Heritage Area conference.
Western Illinois Field Station (WIFS)
Over the past month, WIFS personnel divided their time between analysis/reporting and field activities. Our indoor work has been focused on the Middle Mississippian and Oneota ceramics from the Spica site (11A1391) in the Lima Lake locality of Adams County and processing the artifacts and flotation samples from the Copperas Creek site (11F100) in Fulton County, as well as several prehistoric sites on the Delhi Bypass. In addition, our staff finalized the Mary Craig (11PK1567) and Shybull Terrace (11MD1231) reports, as well as several ASSRs that document the results of recent IDOT infrastructure surveys. Fieldwork continued to be focused on the aforementioned Copperas Creek site, where a series of four 1x2 m hand units were excavated that produced the remains of at least six Late Woodland features with well-preserved animal bone, mussel shell, and charred plant remains, reaffirming and clarifying the significance and research potential of this large bluff base site in the Central Illinois River valley. Additional machine scraping was also undertaken at 11JY396 in Jersey County, finalizing work at this shallow Archaic period site. Some our staff also volunteered their time to do artifact identification at the 2nd Annual Kampsville Knap-in, which was held at the McCully Heritage Project in Calhoun County as part of Old Settlers Days.