Dr. Alleen Betzenhauser

Staff Directory

Dr. Alleen Betzenhauser

Dr. Alleen Betzenhauser

Field Station Coordinator

B.A. Archaeology, Boston University
M.A. Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 Email Dr. Alleen Betzenhauser
 (618) 394-0221
 Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Alleen Betzenhauser joined the American Bottom Field Station in 2006 and has served as the Field Station Coordinator since January 2018. She had the opportunity to supervise field survey, testing, and data recovery efforts at several Late Woodland and Mississippian period sites located throughout the American Bottom region. Most notable is her role in the field work, analysis, and reporting stemming from the large-scale investigations at the East St. Louis Precinct as part of the New Mississippi River Bridge project.

General Interest/Area of Focus

Alleen developed an interest in the complex societies of the New World as an undergraduate studying Mayan archaeology at Boston University. She decided to shift focus to Mississippian archaeology in Illinois for her graduate studies under the guidance of Dr. Timothy Pauketat. Alleen completed her dissertation titled, “Creating the Cahokian Community: The Power of Place in Early Mississippian Sociopolitical Dynamics,” in 2011. She incorporated geophysical survey, GIS, excavation, and ceramic and lithic analysis to address how local groups within the American Bottom region negotiated and helped contribute to the construction of the Cahokian community and polity at the beginning of the Mississippian period (ca. A.D. 1050). She maintains an interest in field methods, mapping, spatiality, ceramic and lithic analysis, and public outreach. 

Memberships

Society for American Archaeology
Southeastern Archaeological Conference
Midwest Archaeological Conference
Illinois Archaeological Survey
Missouri Archaeological Society

Current Research

Alleen maintains a strong interest in the transitional Terminal Late Woodland–Mississippian period in the American Bottom region as reflected in and mediated by changes in materiality, architecture, and the construction of space. Currently, she is employing experimental archaeology and archaeometry to determine the function of stumpware, an enigmatic ceramic utensil that first appeared in the American Bottom at the same time as maize. She also collects, processes, and fires local clays to learn more about past potting practices in the region. She aims to develop a library of local clays that researchers can use for comparisons with archaeological samples. 

Positions

2018–present Field Station Coordinator, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, American Bottom Field Station, Fairview Heights, IL.

2013–2018 Senior Research Archaeologist, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, American Bottom Field Station, Fairview Heights, IL.

2011–2013 Research Archaeologist, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, American Bottom Field Station, Wood River, IL.

2003–2011 Archaeological Assistant, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, American Bottom Field Station, Wood River, IL.

2002–2006 Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois, Urbana.

Awards

2010 Midwest Archaeological Conference Student Paper Competition– 1st Place

2006 Illinois Association for the Advancement of Archaeology Permanent Fund

2001 Alice M. Brennan Humanities Fellowship, Boston University.

Selected Bibliography

2018  East St. Louis Precinct Terminal Late Woodland Features. Illinois State Archaeological Survey Research Report No. 46, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

2018  East St. Louis Precinct Terminal Late Woodland Ceramics. Illinois State Archaeological Survey Research Report No. 42, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

2018  (with Tamira K. Brennan and Michael Brent Lansdell) East St. Louis Precinct Mississippian Ceramics. Illinois State Archaeological Survey Research Report No. 42, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

2018  Exploring Measures of Inequality in the Mississippian Heartland. In Ten Thousand Years of Inequality, edited by Timothy Kohler and Michael E. Smith. Amerind Studies in Archaeology Series. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

2018  (with Tamira Brennan, Michael Brent Lansdell, Sarah Harken, and Victoria Potter) Chronological Implications and External Connections in the East St. Louis Precinct Ceramic Assemblage. In Revealing Cahokia’s Urbanism: Rediscovery and Large-Scale Excavations of the East St. Louis Precinct, edited by Thomas E. Emerson, Brad H. Koldehoff, and Tamira K. Brennan. Illinois State Archaeological Survey, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

2017  Cahokia’s Beginnings: Mobility, Urbanization, and the Cahokian Political Landscape. In Mississippian Beginnings, edited by Gregory D. Wilson. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.

2012 The Prehistory of Turkey Hill: Archaeological Investigations along Illinois Route 13/15 (FAP-103) Belleville to Freeburg, St. Clair County, Illinois. Transportation Archaeological Research Reports, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2010 Archaeological Testing Short Report for the Crowley Site (11MS2208), Madison County, Illinois. Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program, Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2008 Washausen Site Investigations. Illinois Antiquity, 43(2):8.

2008 Archaeological Investigations at Site 11J1196 (Halloween Site) for the Southern Illinois Airport Project. Archaeological Testing Short Report No. 344. Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (with Jennifer Howe).

2008 Archaeological Testing Short Report for the Auburn Sky Site (11MO776), Madison County, Illinois. Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program, Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2005 The Old Man Site #3 (11MS342): A Lohmann Phase Farmstead. Illinois Archaeology 14:73–89.

Selected Conference Presentations

Symposia:
2016  Reconsidering Mississippian Households and Communities. Co-organized with Elizabeth Watts-Malouchos for the 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida.

2009 Identity and Essence: Pathways to Personhood in the Southeast. Co-organized with Melissa Baltus and Sarah Otten for the 66th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeology Conference, Mobile, Alabama.

Papers:
2018 (with Susan Bostwick) Keeping it Local: Processing and Potting with American Bottom Region Clays. Paper presented at the Mississippian Conference, Cahokia Mounds, Collinsville, IL.

2016 Measures of Inequality in the Mississippian Heartland. Paper presented at the 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida.

2016 (with Elizabeth Watts-Malouchos) Creating a Cahokian Community: Rethinking Mississippian Storage Practices. Paper presented at the 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida.

2015 (with Timothy R. Pauketat) Elements of Cahokian Neighborhoods. Invited paper presented at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, CA.

2014 (with Luke Plocher) Early Residents of East St. Louis: Architecture and Community Organization (AD 900–1100). Paper presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Champaign, IL.

2014 (with Sarah Harken, Ross Brady, and Alexandra Freyer) Chronological Implications and External Connections within East St. Louis Ceramics. Paper presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Champaign, IL.

2012 (with Timothy Pauketat and Bill Romain) Redesigned Communities of the Early Mississippian World: From Toltec and Washausen to Obion and Cahokia. Paper presented at the 69th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

2012 (with Robert Rohe) Construction and Conflagration: Contextualizing the Stirling Phase Communities of the East St. Louis Mound Complex. Paper presented at the 69th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

2012 (with Erin Benson) Terminal Beginnings at the East St. Louis Mound Complex. Paper presented at the 69th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Baton Rouge, LA.

2012 Stirling Phase Architectural Diversity and Landscape Modification at the East Saint Louis Mound Complex. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Illinois Archaeological Survey, Urbana, Illinois.

2010 Don’t Hassle Me, I’m Local: Changing Landscapes of Power in the American Bottom Region. Invited contributor to the symposium “Mobility, Temporality, and Social Memory: Locating Objects and Persons in the Southeast,” organized by Melissa Baltus and Sarah Otten. Presented at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeology Conference, Lexington, Kentucky.

2010 Accessing the Mississippian Transition in the Southern American Bottom through the Interpretation of a Gradiometric Survey. Presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Bloomington, Indiana. 1st Place Student Paper Competition.

2009 Reevaluating the “Emergent Mississippian” in the American Bottom. Presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Iowa City, Iowa.

2008 (with Thomas Zych) Cahokia's Northern Neighbors: Late Mississippian Rural Settlements in the Northern American Bottom. Presented at the 65th Annual Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

2006 Greater Cahokian Farmsteads: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Diversity. Presented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Posters:
2017 (with Sarah Harken and Victoria Potter) Investigating Stumpware: Evidence for Pre-Mississippian Nixtamalization in Illinois. Poster presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.

2017 (with Michael Brent Lansdell and Tamira K. Brennan) Wings, Warriors, and Weeping Eyes: Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Ramey Incised Motifs at the East St. Louis Precinct. Poster presented at the 74th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Tulsa, Oklahoma.  

2016 (with Craig H. Kitchen and Steven L. Boles) Massive Pit Features at the East St. Louis Mound Complex. Poster presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Iowa City, Iowa.

2013 (with Tamira Brennan, M. Brent Lansdell, Aurora Bihler, Ross Brady, Alexandra Freyer, Sarah Harken, and Heather Nahmias) Nonlocal Pottery from Stirling Phase Contexts at the East St. Louis Mound Complex. Poster presented at the Indiana Archaeology Council Annual Meeting and Workshop, Strawtown, Indiana.

2010 Transforming Places and Persons: Community and Personhood at the Mississippian Transition in the American Bottom Region. Poster presented at the 75th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, St. Louis, Missouri. 

2008 Current Research at the Washausen (11MO305) and Divers (11MO28) Sites: Preliminary Results from Geophysical Survey and Targeted Excavation. Poster presented at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. 

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