Office of the State Archaeologist

Office of the Illinois State Archaeologist

Dr. Timothy R. Pauketat
Dr. Timothy Pauketat,
Illinois State Archaeologist

The establishment of the Illinois State Archaeologist under Public Act 098-0346 effectively created, for the first time, a state-level position to advocate for the public importance of the archaeological record in Illinois. The State Archaeologist serves as the authoritative spokesperson on matters of archaeological fact and policy for ISAS, PRI, and the State of Illinois. Additionally, it is the responsibility of this office to provide current information on the results of archaeological-related research and scientific inquiries to the public at large, communities, scientists, industry, and government agencies. 

Dr. Timothy Pauketat is the current Illinois State Archaeologist, and began his tenure in February 2019. Previously, Dr. Thomas Emerson held the position from its creation in 2013 until his retirement in 2018.


The State Archaeologist works with municipalities, park districts, government agencies, private non-profit organizations, developers and the business community, land trusts and local historical organizations to help identify and evaluate archaeological sites and cultural landscapes under their charge and to provide them with technical assistance in planning for theses resources’ long-term management and preservation. 

Data Collection and Management

The Office of the Illinois State Archaeologist serves as a repository of knowledge of Illinois’ rich resources and as a clearinghouse to disseminate that information. The State Archaeologist holds information on site records, inventories of protected burial sites, and nearly 20,000 archaeological reports, as well as a comprehensive records and photographic archive and database.


The Illinois State Archaeologist engages in research activities, including sponsoring, directing, and conducting research into the archaeology of the state.