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  • POSTPONED TO 2021 – Toward the Middle Range conference

    As we all seek to limit spread of COVID-19, this event will be postponed to 2021.  

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey will host a visiting scholar conference May 30–31, 2020. Toward the Middle Range will focus on the intersection of theory, method, and case study through the lens of the New Materialisms. Up to 15 participants—local, national, and international—will be selected for this two-day conference, which will feature both public and private sessions. Papers will be compiled into an edited volume.

  • The Richard and Marilyn Schryver Collection

    The Richard and Marilyn Schryver Collection was donated to the Illinois State Archaeological Survey in the Fall of 2019 by their children.

  • Deciphering the culture found in prehistoric plants

  • Reading history in the soil

    Illinois State Archaeological Survey postdoctoral researcher Rebecca Barzilai maps and collects soil samples from the floor of a religious shrine in Greater Cahokia, an ancient Native American settlement on the Mississippi River in and around present-day St. Louis.

  • State Archaeologist leads Cahokia tour for Illinois alumni

    Illinois State Archaeologist Tim Pauketat led a tour of Cahokia Mounds on Sept. 19 for a group of University of Illinois alumni. This special event was organized by the Illinois Alumni Association and the Prairie Research Institute. 

  • Meet Michael Aiuvalasit, environmental archaeologist

    Michael Aiuvalasit joins ISAS as an environmental archaeologist, leveraging his expertise using archaeological and paleoclimate data to tell a story about how people solved resource management problems in the past.

  • Archaeological predictive modeling app offers clues for future development

    The Illinois Archaeological Predictive Models (IAPM) offers a publicly available resource to predict where archaeological sites may be found.

  • Extracting history from a cornfield

    Illinois News Bureau writer Diana Yates recently participated in an archaeological investigation of an 800-year-old village in central Illinois.

  • Now available: East St. Louis Precinct Mississippian Ceramics

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey proudly announces the release of our latest publication, East St. Louis Precinct Mississippian Ceramics edited by Tamira K. Brennan, Michael Brent Lansdell, and Alleen Betzenhauser with contributions by Alleen Betzenhauser, Tamira K. Brennan, Sarah E. Harken, Michael Brent Lansdell, and Victoria E. Potter.

  • Now available: East St. Louis Precinct Terminal Late Woodland Features

    The investigations at East St. Louis conducted by Illinois State Archaeological Survey for the New Mississippi River Bridge project provided an unprecedented amount of information concerning Terminal Late Woodland habitation in the American Bottom. East St. Louis Precinct Terminal Late Woodland Features, edited by Alleen Betzenhauser, describes insights gained from this project.

  • Scattergood receives Outstanding New Support Staff Award

    ISAS archaeological projects coordinator Sarah Scattergood received the Outstanding New Support Staff Award at the 2019 Prairie Research Institute Celebration of Excellence. 

  • Get to know Illinois State Archaeologist Tim Pauketat

  • ISAS reprints two popular volumes

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey has reprinted two popular out-of-print publications and both are available for purchase on Amazon.

  • Preserving the Past in 3D

    John Lambert and Alleen Betzenhauser describe how they used a 3D scanner to capture digital images of petroglyphs that were pecked and ground into limestone boulders during the Mississippian Period

  • Pauketat to lead Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    Timothy R. Pauketat, a University of Illinois professor of Anthropology, is the new director of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey.

  • 'Revealing Greater Cahokia' details research on ancient North American metropolis

    A new book, “Revealing Greater Cahokia, North America’s First Native City,” offers the most complete picture yet of a decade of archaeological research on a little-known part of the larger city and its precincts in East St. Louis. 

  • ‘Native America’ documentary including work by U. of I. researchers at Cahokia to be screened on campus

    A new documentary about the cities built by Native Americans features research by University of Illinois anthropologists at the ancient city of Cahokia, near present-day St. Louis. An episode of the documentary will be screened Oct. 10 at Spurlock Museum.

  • Bringing Cahokia’s grid into the real world

    Staff from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) are looking to new technology to tie Cahokia’s grid to real-world coordinates. This will be the first time researchers and other state agencies will be able to integrate LiDAR with excavation data at Cahokia.

  • ISAS will feature augmented reality at Pygmalion Festival’s demo event

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) will participate in the Pygmalion Festival’s demo event happening Sept. 27 from 5:30-9:30 p.m. at the Krannert Art Museum on the University of Illinois campus.

  • Ancient Cahokia Future Visions Conference brings goal for Cahokia becoming a National Park to the forefront

    Ancient Cahokia Future Visions Conference brings goal for Cahokia becoming a National Park to the forefront.

  • Exchange Avenue figurine survives to tell us about Cahokia

    Exchange Avenue figurine survives to tell us about Cahokia

  • ISAS helps collect data from the Mann site

    ISAS partners with organizations to collect data from the Mann site.

  • Journal of the Illinois Archaeological Survey publishes Volume 28 & 29 in honor of Dr. Thomas E. Emerson

    The Illinois Archaeological Survey recently published its 28th and 29th volume in honor of Dr. Thomas E. Emerson. Dr. Emerson’s career has spanned over 45 years in cultural resource management and during that time he has been a passionate advocate for publishing archaeological research.

  • ISAS work at Kimball House reveals artifacts

    While digging out the floors this week during the ongoing restoration of the Nancy Kimball House in Elgin, workers uncovered the 1846 house's original cistern. The discovery prompted Liz Marston of the Elgin Area Historical Society and Museum to contact the Illinois State Archaeological Survey's Northern Illinois Field Station in Elgin, which sent three archaeologists to have a look Thursday.

  • Archaeological work in Jackson Park turns up remnants of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893

    Archaeologists turned up remnants of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, the fabled White City that drew millions of visitors to Chicago’s Jackson Park, as they scoured the site of the Obama Presidential Center and nearby parkland as part of the federal review of plans for the proposed complex.

  • Director Thomas Emerson announces he will retire at the end of 2018

    Dr. Thomas E. Emerson, director of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) and Illinois’ first State Archaeologist, announced he will be retiring at the end of 2018. Dr. Emerson’s career has spanned over 45 years in cultural resource management and he has been director of ISAS since 1994.

  • ISAS archaeologists travel to China for Shanghai Archaeology Forum

  • Restoring a lost heritage

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey is partnering with Allerton Park staff to identify, restore, interpret and preserve mounds (probably ancient burial structures) at Robert Allerton Park.

  • The Brooklyn Illinois project video

  • Ancient Mississippians in East St. Louis

  • Study of pipestone artifacts overturns a century-old assumption

    In the early 1900s, archaeologist William Mills dug up a treasure-trove of carved stone pipes that had been buried almost 2,000 years earlier. Mills was the first to dig the Native American site, called Tremper Mound, in southern Ohio. And when he inspected the pipes, he made a reasonable—but untested—assumption. The pipes looked as if they had been carved from local stone, and so he said they were. That assumption, first published in 1916, has been repeated in scientific publications to this day. But according to a new analysis, Mills was wrong.

  • Researchers find evidence of ritual use of 'black drink' at Cahokia

    People living 700 to 900 years ago in Cahokia, a massive settlement near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, ritually used a caffeinated brew made from the leaves of a holly tree that grew hundreds of miles away, researchers report.

  • Experts reveal new images, analyses of Spurlock Museum mummy

    A team of medical experts and researchers will present new findings on the Spurlock Museum mummy at a symposium at the museum on Nov. 2. Sarah Wisseman, the director of the Program on Ancient Technologies and Archaeological Materials at the Illinois State Archaeological Survey and the author of "The Virtual Mummy," led the effort and will introduce the event.