ATAM Research

ATAM Research

The Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) curates a variety of archaeological materials from across the state. Recent special projects include multidisciplinary analysis of prehistoric dog remains (Dr. Joseph Galloy), mastadon teeth (Steve Kuehn), canine coprolites (Dr. Andrew Fortier), and ancient uncarbonized squash seeds (Mary Simon). These materials are studied to better understand paleoecology of the state as well as plant and animal domestication in later prehistory.

Dr. Kristin HedmanDr. Kristin Hedman uses strontium and stable isotope analyses of bone and enamel to address questions of human diet, and population origin and movement across the Midwestern United States. She integrates this data with information on ancestry and health derived from ancient DNA analysis and osteological observations. She also uses microscopy and other imaging technology to explore human bone modification and use.





Student Research

Kelsey WittKelsey Witt is a graduate student in Anthropology at the University of Illinois. She is interested in the genetic analysis of ancient dogs of the Americas. Comparing sequences of these dogs to other ancient and living dogs and wolves can answer questions about how dogs migrated through the Americas, and dogs can be used as a proxy for studying the migration history of early Native Americans. She is currently working on dog remains from the Janey B. Goode site (~A.D. 900–1300) in southern Illinois. The dogs at Janey B. Goode were intentionally buried, and skeletal pathologies suggest they were used to help haul goods. Kelsey's preliminary DNA analysis indicates genetic similarities between the dogs from Janey B. Goode and ancient dog remains from Peru and even Siberia.

Dr. Thomas E. Emerson Dr. Thomas Emerson (ISAS, retired), Sarah Wisseman (ATAM and ISAS), and Randall Hughes (Illinois State Geological Survey) employ a Portable Infrared Mineral Analyzer (PIMA) to source the stone used to make Mississippian figurines and Hopewellian pipes. This research has increased our understanding of resource procurement and utilization across the midcontinental U.S.






Past Research Projects