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.
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.
Williamson County road project sparks archaeological dig
Finishing the Job: Saukenauk
Effort to study mounds and ancient site preservation underway
Rethinking an Ancient Artifact
ISAS researchers to submit chapel in Brooklyn, IL for inclusion in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom
Brooklyn, IL History Mix of Oral and Written Traditions
Prairie Research Institute Hosts Lightning Talks
Site in Grafton May Be Military Outpost
ISAS Excavations at War of 1812 Fort Featured in Poster
ISAS Excavations at the Mississippi River Bridge Project
Ancient Suburb Near St. Louis Could Be Lost Forever
Indian Mounds Park Event
Digging Up Dirt on a Lost City
Ancient Treasure Discovered on National Forest in Southern Illinois
Dickson Mounds-20 Years Later
ISAS Director Thomas Emerson and Prof. Timothy Pauketat (ISAS Survey Affiliate) were invited guests of the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, at the SAF, August 22-27 August, 2013 held in Shanghai, China. Click here for more.
[posted November 30, 2013]
PRI and Forest Preserves District of Cook County join for long-term management of natural and cultural resources
The unprecedented effort will create a powerful mapped database and decision-making system for land management in the Forest Preserves.
[posted November 27, 2013]
A new exhibit at the Western Illinois Museum in Macomb, Illinois, features artifacts excavated by ISAS archaeologists at the early-mid 19th century historic Chenoweth site. Selected objects including bottles, ceramics, coins, and toys illustrate the daily life of early historic occupants in western Illinois. Click here for more information.
[posted November 25, 2013]
One of ISAS’s primary goals is the dissemination of information to both professional and public audiences.
The ISAS annual report is a key aspect of that process
[posted September 27, 2013]
With 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]
Chris Sabo, a film student at the time, created this video about ISAS excavations in East St. Louis ahead of the construction of a new Mississippi River bridge (now known as the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge).
[posted July 2, 2013]
The Galesburg Historical Society partnered with the Prairie Research Institute's Illinois State Archaeological Survey to select the backyards of the 10 houses built before 1900 for the digs in preparation for the future Seminary St./Kellogg St. Overpass.
ISAS researchers application for chapel in Brooklyn, IL for inclusion in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom accepted by the National Park Service
ISAS archaeologists Miranda Yancey and Joseph Galloy have received notification from the National Park Service that their application for the Quinn Chapel AME in Brooklyn, Illinois to be included in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom has been accepted.
It was a worst-case scenario: the excavation of a significant site ended abruptly when the site was destroyed. The incomplete excavation uncovered important data, but it remained a secret because a report was never written. Some 50 years later, archaeologists are working to piece the data together and make the public aware of this project.
Illinois State Archaeological Survey director Thomas Emerson and his colleagues discovered that pipestone pipes buried roughly 2,100 years ago in a mound site in southeast Ohio came from stone gathered in northern Illinois.
ISAS Director discusses a microscopic discovery that reveals big things about culture and ritual at one of North America’s largest pre-Columbian settlements.
Annually, beginning in 2010, the Illinois State Archaeological Survey awarded assistantships to selected graduate students specializing in Illinois archaeology, in honor of the late Charles J. Bareis. The winners of the inaugural Charles J. Bareis Research Assistantships were: Melissa Baltus (UIUC), Sarah Otten (UIUC), and Carol Richards (ISU). In the fall of 2012, Sarah Baires, Erin Benson, and Ian Fricker secured the CJB Research Assistantship.
ISAS archaeologists have been searching for the "Illinois River Blockhouse" this past year. Documentary research and advanced scouting efforts identified a stone foundation suspected as being part of the blockhouse.
This fall, the Illinois State Archaeological Survey resumed its investigations at one of the most significant French colonial sites in the Midwest: the site of the 1732 Fort de Chartres.
ISAS and Illinois Height Modernization Program
Updated: 12/05/2013 ML