Dr. Andrew C. Fortier

Staff Directory

Dr. Andrew C. Fortier

Dr. Andrew C. Fortier

Survey Affiliate

B.A. Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley
M.A., Ph.D. Anthropology University of Wisconsin at Madison

 Email Dr. Fortier
 (217) 333-0867
 Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


General Interest/Area of Focus

Andrew Fortier specializes in North American Eastern Woodlands archaeology with a primary focus on the American Bottom. Most of his work has been directed at the Middle Woodland period, but he has also analyzed and published assemblages from virtually all time periods. He has authored or co-authored 13 of the 28 FAI-270 Site Reports volumes published by the University of Illinois Press. His interests are diverse, but mainly focused on prehistoric economy, Middle Woodland symbolism and cosmology, house construction practices through time, technological-subsistence practices, field methodology, rock art, interregional interaction within Illinois, and culture history via historical processualism. His dissertation covered the first agricultural societies (Karanovo-Kremikovsti) of Bulgaria with an emphasis on establishing Early Neolithic painted pottery stylistic ceramic zones and on examining the affect of local environments on settlement stability.

Other research interests include the analysis of dog coprolites from the Janey B. Goode site from southwestern Illinois. Over a hundred individual samples from this site under the direction of Dr. Fortier are being examined for macro-fauna, parasites, DNA, hair structure, and bacteria. In addition, blood panels will be run to establish nutritional and health levels for a 1000 year old dog population. This study is being undertaken in conjunction with researchers from the Department of Anthropology, the Vet-Med College and Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois.

Fortier has authored both articles and book chapters on various aspects of Illinois archaeology and coedited several books, including most recently a University of Nebraska book depicting Late Woodland societies in the Mid-continent. He has been a member of the Illinois Archaeological Survey for nearly 25 years and has served on numerous committees, as well as serving on the IAS Board. He is a member of the Society for American Archaeology, SEAC, MAC, and WAS. He has also served as a reviewer of manuscripts intended for journal or book publication, including American Antiquity, Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, University of Alabama Press, Illinois Archaeology, as well as for internal ITARP publications. He has been an invited lecturer for classes in the Department of Anthropology, Landscape Architecture, and Art History and has delivered numerous public outreach presentations for various organizations in the Champaign-Urbana area. He has been a Ford Fellowship recipient, an IREX Eastern Europe Preparatory Dissertation Research Fellow, and an IREX Eastern Europe Exchange Fellow becoming the first American Archaeologist to do extended research in Bulgaria since 1939.

Current Research

Fortier has been actively involved in the analysis of several American Bottom sites excavated by ITARP, and most recently, a late Middle Woodland site assemblage excavated from western Illinois in Scott County. He is also participating in a prehistoric ceramic project with ATAM Director Sarah Wisseman, examining differences in ceramic structure associated with rock boiling in pots versus open fire cooking. This ongoing project has also involved the thin sectioning of prehistoric Middle Woodland pots from the American Bottom hoping to establish firing temperatures as well as the durability of pots vis a vis various tempering agents. Fortier has also been involved with Dr. Richard Hughes in a number of obsidian sourcing projects.

Previous Positions

1989–1994 Research Associate, RIP-FAI-270, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
1984–1988 Project Director, for the 5.8 Mile Extension of FAI-255 Project, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
1978–1983 Site Director, FAI-270 Archaeological Mitigation Project, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Selected Chapters in Books

2001 A Tradition of Discontinuity: American Bottom Early and Middle Woodland Culture History Reexamined. In The Archaeology of Traditions, Agency and History Before and After Columbus, edited by T. R. Pauketat, pp. 174–194. University Press of Florida.

1998 Pre-Mississippian Economies in the American Bottom of Southwestern Illinois, 3000 B.C.–A.D. 1050. In Research in Economic Anthropology, edited by B.L. Isaac, pp. 341–392. JAI Press Inc., Greenwich, Connecticut.

1993 American Bottom House Types of the Archaic and Woodland Periods: An Overview. In Highways to the Past:Essays on Illinois Archaeology in Honor of Charles J. Bareis, edited by T.E. Emerson, A.C. Fortier, and D.L McElrath, pp. 260–275. Vol. 5. Numbers 1&2.

1986 Early Woodland Cultural Variation, Subsistence, and Settlement in the American Bottom, Illinois, with Thomas Emerson. In Early Woodland Archaeology, edited by K.B. Farnsworth and T.E. Emerson, pp. 475–522. Center for American Archeology Press, Kampsville, Illinois.

1983 Settlement and Subsistence at the Go-Kart North Site: A Late Archaic Titterington Occupation in the American Bottom, Illinois. In Archaic Hunters and Gatherers in the American Midwest, edited by J.L. Phillips and J.A. Brown, pp. 243–260. New World Archaeological Record. Academic Press.

Selected Peer Reviewed Articles

2008 The Archaeological Contexts and Themes of Middle Woodland Symbolic Representation in the American Bottom. Illinois Archaeology 20:1–47.

2007 Trace Element Analysis of Obsidian Artifacts from Six Archaeological Sites in Illinois. With Richard Hughes as senior author; Illinois Archaeology 19:144-157.

2006 Advances in American Prehistory: Illinois Transportation Archaeology Two Decades After I-270. ( in order: Thomas E. Emerson, John A. Walthall, Andrew C. Fortier, Dale L. McElrath) Southeastern Archaeology 25(2):155–169.

2006 Archaic and Late Woodland Occupations at the Rock-Kishwaukee River Confluence in Northern Illinois. Illinois Archaeology 18:76–99.

2006 Calibrating and Reassessing American Bottom Culture History, (with Thomas E. Emerson and Dale L. McElrath). Southeastern Archaeology 25(2):170–211.

2002 Deconstructing the Emergent Mississippian Concept: The Case for Terminal Late Woodland in the American Bottom, with D. L. McElrath. Midcontinental Journal Archaeology 27(2):171–215.

2000 The Bosque Medio Site: A Hopewellian Campsite in the American Bottom Uplands., with Swastika Ghosh. Illinois Archaeology 12(1&2):191–213.

2000 The Emergence and Demise of the Middle Woodland Small-Tool Tradition in the American Bottom. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 25(2):191–213.

1997 Identification of Geologic Sources for Obsidian Artifacts from Three Middle Woodland Sites in the American Bottom. with Richard Hughes. Illinois Archaeology 9(1&2):79–92.

1995 The Vogt Petroglyph Complex in Monroe County, Illinois. Illinois Archaeology 7(1&2):82–101.

1994 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) Dates Confirm Early Zea mays in the Mississippi River Valley, with T. Riley, G. Waltz, C. Bareis, and K. Parker. American Antiquity 59(3):49–498.

Edited Books

2009 Archaic Societies: Diversity and Complexity across the Midcontinent. Edited by T .E. Emerson, D .L. McElrath and A. C. Fortier, 891 pp. SUNY Press.

2000 Late Woodland Societies: Tradition and Transformation across the Midcontinent. 736 pp. University of Nebraska Press. with T.E. Emerson and D.L. McElrath.

1993 Highways to the Past: Essays on Illinois Archaeology in Honor of Charles J. Bareis. Illinois Archaeology, Vol. 5 (1&2), 564 pp. with T.E. Emerson and D.L. McElrath.

General Publications

2007 The American Bottom: An Archaic Cultural Crossroads. In Archaic Societies across the Midcontinent: Diversity and Discontinuity, with Dale L. McElrath, Brad Koldehoff, and Thomas E. Emerson, edited by Thomas E. Emerson, Dale L. McElrath, and Andrew C. Fortier. pp. 317–375. University of Nebraska Press.

2007 The Tall Grass Prairie Peninsula in Prehistory. In The Tall Grass Prairie Peninsula: Its Role in Shaping American Culture (Jim Fey with Andrew Fortier, pp. 107–119. Stipes Publishing L.L.C., Champaign, Illinois.

2006 The Land Between Two Traditions: Middle Woodland Societies of the American Bottom. In Recreating Hopewell, edited by Douglas K. Charles and Jane E. Buikstra, pp. 328–338. University Press of Florida.

TARR Research Reports

2007 The Archaeology of the East St. Louis Mound Center: Part II The Northside Excavations, edited by Andrew C. Fortier. Transportation Archaeological Research Reports. No. 22.

2004 The Petite Michele Site. An Early Middle Woodland Occupation in the American Bottom. Transportation Archaeological Research Reports. No. 19.

FAI-270 Site Reports Series: University of Illinois Press

Author or co-author of Vols. 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16, 19, 21, 23, 24, 27, and 28 (see ITARP publication link for more details.)

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