Kenton Geier, a research archaeologist, is a familiar face with the ISAS crew. He's worked at the survey for nearly a decade and is heavily involved in outreach and educational opportunities raising public awareness of past and current destruction of archaeological sites. Geier's work centers around time – finding opportunities every day to preserve items from the past for future generations!
Kenton recently answered some questions about his work.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at ISAS?
I have worked for ISAS since 2014 as field crew or crew chief doing mainly survey with a small amount of phase II testing. For several years I have been tasked with conducting burial revisits and submitting the associated paperwork. I have a significant amount of experience at lithic analysis and contribute heavily to public outreach.
What drew you to your particular area of study?
Growing up in an old schoolhouse and finding prehistoric sites in the surrounding farm fields.
What tools are indispensable to your fieldwork?
Shovel, screen, compass, GPS, paperwork and artifact bags.
What do you wish more people understood about your work?
That our work may be the last opportunity to locate an important piece of history before the land is developed.
You are dealing with some very fragile pieces of the archaeological record in Illinois, what can we (the public) do to help protect and preserve this precious history?
Knowledge is the key to preserving the archaeological record in Illinois. Attending outreach and educational opportunities raises public awareness of past and current destruction of archaeological sites. It has been my experience that once people recognize what has been lost, they are more inclined to protect and preserve what is left.
What is most gratifying about your work?
Saving some small piece of information for future generations.