American Bottom Field Station (ABFS)
ABFS fieldwork during the month of December included an auger test survey along Canteen Creek in Tract 10 of the Cahokia Mounds site (11MS2). This resulted in the recovery of chert flakes as well as Late Woodland and Mississippian period ceramics buried deep within an alluvial fill. Further work at the site in January will include the placement of geocores within the project area by Mike Kolb and Andy Jalbert of Strata Morph Geoexploration. ABFS field crew also completed machine testing at 11MS2535 in Northern Madison County. No subsurface features were identified and only a small amount of non-diagnostic materials were recovered. Upcoming field projects include surveys in Madison, Lawrence, Jackson, and Clinton counties. The remainder of time was focused on the analysis and write up of the No Danger (11MS1636), L. Becker (11MG258), and Adze Kickin' (11JY570) sites. No Danger and L. Becker are ca. 1860-1920 and ca. 1830-1880 historic period sites respectively while Adze Kickin' is a Late Woodland Patrick phase (A. D. 650-900) habitation in the lower Illinois River valley.
Central Illinois Field Station (CIFS)
CIFS submitted one ASSR for IDOT review for a survey project in Johnson County. Three ASSRs are currently in preparation for projects in Will and Macon counties. Two surveys remain to be completed in Will and Macon counties once surface visibility conditions improve. Finally, two survey projects in DeKalb County were reassigned to CIFS. Mike Smith continued work on the US 34 project in Henderson County. CIFS staff also continued to assist curation staff with various projects.
Northern Illinois Field Station (NIFS)
Throughout December, Northern Illinois Field Station staff completed field surveys and ASSRs for projects in Will County (District 1), and in Carroll, Jo Daviess, Whiteside, and Winnebago Counties (District 2). Projects included bridge replacements along the Apple River in Jo Daviess County and along Middle Creek in Carroll County, as well as additional right-of-way needed for improvements to Interstate 55 in Will County. NIFS staff continued documentation and analysis of the Steve Johnson collection. This large and extensive collection of prehistoric materials from the Illinois/Wisconsin border area was donated to ISAS several years ago. The artifact and book exhibit at the Trailside Museum in Riverside, installed at the end of October, remained up through end of December; displays focused on the archaeology of Cook County. In December, NIFS staff also provided a historic artifact identification workshop at the Museum in conjunction with this exhibit.
Western Illinois Field Station (WIFS)
This past month, WIFS personnel focused on analysis and report production activities since the weather was not very cooperative. Several Archaeological Survey Short Reports (ASSR) were completed and submitted in December that detailed work on IDOT-related projects near the towns of Banner, Beardstown, Maquon, and Quincy in Fulton, Schuyler, Knox, and Adams counties. This includes the sizeable ASSR detailing our small-scale evaluation of the Copperas Creek site (11F100), a National Register-quality bluff base Woodland habitation located in the Central Illinois River valley. Several excavation studies were also finalized during the reporting period, including the Shybull Terrace (11MD1231) technical report, which made it through production, and Hardin Munro (11JY515), an ATSR. Work also continued on the Spica (11A1391), Marseton II (11MC71), and Merciless Ridge (11MD1208) analyses and reports during this period, as well as ongoing collections curation.