Illinois State Archaeological Survey - Illinois Archaeology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


The Illinois State Archaeological Survey's mission is to investigate, preserve and interpret the archaeological heritage of Illinois within the contexts of long-term public needs and economic development through our scientific research, landscape preservation, public service, education, and outreach activities.
  Highway Archaeology  

To serve as the principal repository and source of scientifically-based information and research on the archaeological resources of the state and to proactively utilize this knowledge to assist Illinois' citizens, communities, and institutions in making informed decisions on heritage interpretation, management, and preservation.


ISAS in the News

Articles on the Multiculturalism of Cahokia
[updated March 18, 2014]

Chenoweth museum display

[updated January 2, 2014]

Dr. Joseph Galloy of ISAS and Amy Clark of the St. Louis Art Museum Discuss Mississippian Artifacts from the St. Louis Area
[December 5, 2013]

Williamson County road project sparks archaeological dig
[, October 21, 2013]

In this short interview, Dr. Duane Esarey of ISAS discusses his research about the mythical Piasa Bird on a cliff face on the Mississippi River.
[, October 10, 2013]

In a WCIA "Joe Do My Job" news segment, reporter Joe Barlow talks with Amanda Butler and Doug Jackson about the Collins Site.
Part 1 | Part 2
[, August 26, 2013]

Digging for a glimpse of the past at future site of overpass
[, May 29, 2013]

ISAS researchers application for chapel in Brooklyn, IL for inclusion in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom accepted by the National Park Service
[, January 3, 2013]

Finishing the Job: Saukenauk
[American Archaeology,Spring, 2013]

Effort to study mounds and ancient site preservation underway
[, January 30, 2013]

Rethinking an Ancient Artifact
[UI LAS News, January 2013]

ISAS researchers to submit chapel in Brooklyn, IL for inclusion in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom
[, January 3, 2013]

Brooklyn, IL History Mix of Oral and Written Traditions
[, January 2, 2013]

Previous News Stories


Illinois Archaeology Today Logo

Ancient Treasure Discovered on National Forest in Southern Illinois
[Posted June 5, 2012]

Dickson Mounds-20 Years Later
[Posted May 29, 2012]

Previous Illinois Archaeology Today Stories



What's New

Sacrificial and Common Graves Alike Reveal Diversity in Ancient City of Cahokia

[posted April 15, 2014]

ISAS assists with development of Warner Collection exhibit at the Ballard Nature Center

[posted April 7, 2014]

American Archaeology coverThe article 'An Examination of Historic Trade' (by Julian Smith) in the Spring 2014 issue of American Archaeology focuses on Duane Esarey's research of the manufacture and trade networks of historic marine shell ornaments.

[posted March 25, 2014]


ISAS Reconstructs the Indian Springs Mound, Kennekuk Cove County Park, Vermilion County, Illinois

[posted March 11, 2014]

Robert Mazrim talks about early frontier settlement of Illinois at IVAS meeting

[posted March 10, 2014]

Native American City on the Mississippi was America's First 'Melting Pot'

[posted March 4, 2014]

Brooklyn Illinois Welcome SignNew Brooklyn, Illinois Video: "Founded by Chance, Sustained by Courage"


[posted February 26, 2014]


2014 Science and Archaeology Symposium- Collaborative Research at University of Illinois in Urbana

[posted February 25, 2014]

The Archaeological Discoveries Made Possible By The New Mississippi River Bridge

[posted February 6, 2014]

Official state scientists appointed on Prairie Research Institute Day

[posted December 10, 2013]

Dr. Thomas E. Emerson becomes Illinois' First State Archaeologist

ESTL ExcavationsWith the August 14th signature of Public Act 098-0346 by Governor Quinn, the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) formally became one of the State Scientific Surveys comprising the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois. Dr. Thomas E. Emerson was appointed to fill the new position of State Archaeologist that was created as part of the Act. His 40 years of involvement in Illinois archaeology provides a solid foundation for his new position as Illinois’ first State Archaeologist.

[posted August 22, 2013]

[News Archives Link]

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Upcoming Events

Archaeological Site Discovery Linked to Pierre LaClede, Founder of St. Louis
Saturday, April 26, 1pm at the Fort de Chartres State Historic Site in Randolph County, Illinois

Archaeological Investigations at the Meneley Mill Site, a 19th Century Saw- and Grist Mill in Vermilion County
by Dr. Brian Adams
Sunday, April 27, 2pm - Spring Lecture Series-Museum of the Grand Prairie

Archaeology in our Own Backyard: The East Central Illinois Archaeological Project
Madeleine Evans and Dr. Andrew Fortier
Sunday, May 4, 2pm - Spring Lecture Series-Museum of the Grand Prairie

The Red Goddess of Cahokia
by Dr. Thomas E. Emerson
Sunday, May 18, 2pm - Spring Lecture Series-Museum of the Grand Prairie

Full ISAS Events Calendar
Prairie Research Institute Calendar

ISAS Publications

ISAS Publications

Current Research

New summaries of interesting testing and data-recovery investigations undertaken by ISAS staff.
Click here for more.

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Job Postings as of
February 18, 2014


Updated: 04/22/2014 ML

Illinois State Archaeological Survey

23 E. Stadium Drive
209 Nuclear Physics Lab
Champaign, IL 61820
phone: 217-244-4244 | fax: 217-244-7458

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