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

Archaeologists uncover nearly 1,000 year old village in Murphysboro
KFVS Channel 12 Cape Girardeau, MO
[updated July 24, 2014]

Kathy Lawton Brown from the Radio Arts Foundation interviews Dr. Joseph Galloy, Miranda Yancey-Bailey, and Nathaniel O'Bannon III about ongoing efforts to promote the African-American historical legacy of Brooklyn, Illinois
[updated July 24, 2014]

Excavation at airport uncovers ancient artifacts
The Southern Illinoisan

[updated June 16, 2014]

Cruisin' Archaeology-Uncovering the Mysteries of Cahokia
WGN Chicago news
[updated May 7, 2014]

Vermilion County mounds may be connected to Cahokia
The News-Gazette

[updated May 1, 2014]

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]



What's New

A Day in the Life of an Archaeology Field Station
A video submission for the Day of Archaeology by ISAS-ABFS.

Harvesting the Past: The Illinois Ancient Artifacts ProjectHarvesting the Past image

[posted July 3, 2014]



200 Years Later: The Burning of Fort Johnson and the War of 1812
Recent work: May 2014 excavations

[posted May 27, 2014]

Cahokia’s Ceremonial Road Confirmed

[posted May 22, 2014]

Illinois Heritage coverTransportation Corridors: Layers of Roads, Layers of History by Brad H. Koldehoff

[posted May 19, 2014]



Dr. Thomas E. Emerson, State Archaeologist and Director of ISAS presented with 2014 Charles R. McGimsey III - Hester A. Davis Distinguished Service Award

[posted April 30, 2014]

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]


Updated: 07/24/2014 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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