CAI- Center for Archaeological Investigations

CAI- Center for Archaeological Investigations The CAI is an independent research unit located within the College of Liberal Arts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale The CAI was created in 1978 to undertake archaeological investigations previously supported to varying degrees by the Department of Anthropology and the University Museum, the CAI is a primary vehicle for conducting archaeological research at SIU Carbondale.

We retain close ties to the Department of Anthropology and our projects provide research opportunities and employment for both graduate and undergraduate students. The Center for Archaeological Investigations is committed to protecting and understanding the cultural patrimony of the Americas and to facilitating national and international archaeological research. To fulfill these goals, we undertake four major activities: Research: funded by grant and contract agencies, in the American Midwest, Southeast and Mesoamerica. Curation activities: which include the care and use of archaeological collections for research, student training, and public education. Public Outreach: actively engaged with the local and regional community of amateur and professional archaeologists, students and educators alike. Geo-spatial Analysis: using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Magnetometer.

Mission: The Center for Archaeological Investigations is committed to protecting and understanding the cultural patrimony of the Americas and to facilitating national and international archaeological research.

Operating as usual

Remote sensing survey of Giant City Stone FortSouthern Illinois contains 11 stone constructions where Late Woodland (NOT...
09/16/2020

Remote sensing survey of Giant City Stone Fort

Southern Illinois contains 11 stone constructions where Late Woodland (NOT Middle Woodland) peoples walled off all or parts of the tops of steep ridge tops between 450-900 AD. The jury is still out on the purpose of these constructions, which may not all have been built for the same reason. SIUC Anthropology MA student Jameson (Jamie) Yong is going to solve this issue by conducting the first ever remote sensing ground penetrating (GPR) and magnetometer surveys at five of the stone forts for his MA thesis! His non-intrusive (no digging!) research may reveal if "anomalies" that could represent prehistoric features are located inside of the walls at the various fort sites. Yesterday Jamie traveled to the smallest of the stone forts (Giant City) at which SIU conducted test investigations in 1992 for IDNR. These revealed that the interior of the stone fort is amazingly intact with a high potential for containing numerous pit features. Jamie's research at Giant City is still in progress with no conclusions as of yet although we did get a lot of nice pictures!!

Stopped by the office and caught Lewis and Clark wearing their masks while learning about some of our cool artifacts fro...
09/04/2020

Stopped by the office and caught Lewis and Clark wearing their masks while learning about some of our cool artifacts from previous field schools at Fort Kaskaskia. #lewisandclark #fortkaskaskia #siuc #archaeology #historicarchaeology #rifle #militarylife #historicpreservation #godawgs

Webinar tomorrow on Ohio River pirates!!!Arrgh, maties...CAI Director Dr. Mark Wagner is giving a "happy hour" public we...
07/08/2020

Webinar tomorrow on Ohio River pirates!!!

Arrgh, maties...CAI Director Dr. Mark Wagner is giving a "happy hour" public webinar on Ohio River pirates for the Indiana Historical Society tomorrow (Thursday) at 4:30 Illinois (central) time. For those farther east in Indiana and Kentucky, the time/date information is:

Date Time: Jul 9, 2020 05:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada); 4:30 central time (Illinois and Missouri)

Topic: History Happy Hour: Ohio River Pirates

For people that want to listen to the program live, you need to register for FREE at https://indianahistory.org/…/history-happy-hour-ohio-river…/ . The Indiana Historical Society will also record the program and it will be available on their website in the two weeks following the event.

You are supposed to have your "happy hour" drink of choice on hand when you listen to the program. In the case of river pirates, the appropriate drink would be corn liquor, moonshine, or brandy. Maybe rum the closer you get to New Orleans. If you prefer water, dip a glass in the Mississippi River the way they did. If you are fastidious, follow Mark Twain's instructions and let the mud (usually about 1/3 of the glass) settle to the bottom before drinking.

P.S. The Ohio River pirates were a pretty nasty bunch, they would probably have eaten Captain Jack Sparrow for breakfast.

Yoho me hearties, yoho!!

Attached is a photo from the 1960s film "How the West was Won" showing Walter Brennan playing river pirate Samuel Mason (called Jeb Hawkins in the film) who operated out of Cave in Rock in southern Illinois in 1797. Brennan must have channeled Mason's ghost as his age, clothing, and mannerisms are chillingly correct regarding what is known about Samuel Mason.

CAI Receives National Park Service Battlefield Preservation Grant for 2020-2021 Archival and Remote Sensing Investigatio...
05/18/2020

CAI Receives National Park Service Battlefield Preservation Grant for 2020-2021 Archival and Remote Sensing Investigations into Ft. Henry, Tennessee!!!

Ft. Henry was one of two Confederate forts (Henry and Donelson) constructed in 1862 to block Union troops from moving up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, which represented highways into the upper South. General U.S. Grant attacked and captured both forts in March 1862, starting his rise to eventually become Commanding General of the U. S. Army.

The remains of Fort Henry are located today in Land Between Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area in Tennessee and Kentucky, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The centerpiece of the recreation area are two giant lakes--Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake--which were created by the damming of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers in the 1940s.

The main part of Fort Henry--the fort itself-- was submerged beneath the waters of Kentucky Lake with NO prior archaeological investigations in the 1940s. Its outerworks) a series of linear rifle trenches and associated soldiers or regimental camps remain above water and potentially could be be suffering wave impact damage from barge traffic on this massive lake. The CAI, in partnership with LBL Forest Service staff, submitted a proposal earlier this year to the National Park Service through its Battlefield Preservation Grant Program to ask for funding for (1) archival map and document research to correlate the existing rifle trenches with those shown on Civil War maps as well as determine the locations of the regimental camps located east of the fort that remain above water; (2) to conduct GPR and gradiometer investigations in these areas to search for anomalies that could represent the remains of soldiers huts and other Civil War remains once associated with Fort Henry. No excavations are planned.

We were notified last Friday by the NPS had selected our proposal for funding. We will most likely conduct both the archival and geophysical investigations at Ft. Henry next year (2021) when the corona virus is hopefully behind us.

The Civil War in Southern Illinois: Mound City Naval Base
04/17/2020

The Civil War in Southern Illinois: Mound City Naval Base

Under the Radar: Nauvoo, IllinoisNauvoo, Illinois, was the home of the Mormon Church before they departed for Salt Lake ...
04/07/2020

Under the Radar: Nauvoo, Illinois

Nauvoo, Illinois, was the home of the Mormon Church before they departed for Salt Lake City in the 1840s following the death of Joseph Smith. Archaeologists hired by the Mormon Church including well-known Illinois Archaeologist Melvin "Mr. Cahokia" Fowler (he was at SIU at the time, yay us!!!) have been excavating the town since the 1950s with the church rebuilding the excavated structures--including the Temple--to gradually create a colonial Williamsburg type of experience. Nauvoo flies under the radar as a state promoted archaeological site or tourist destination within Illinois, I suspect because of the church-state issue. I visited Nauvoo in February, 2020, for the first time since the 1970s shortly before the coronavirus reared its ugly head. It is truly amazing to see the reconstructed temple from the 1840s as well as the other buildings gradually reappearing....

CAI Mascot Pippi Wagner sheltering in place  with her favorite pink pig (it squeaks!) and other toys....
04/02/2020

CAI Mascot Pippi Wagner sheltering in place with her favorite pink pig (it squeaks!) and other toys....

Some advice from our friends at the National Park Service
03/28/2020

Some advice from our friends at the National Park Service

Staying close to home? Perhaps fighting a little boredom? The TV keeps asking you if you’re still watching, even though you’ve been sitting in front of it for six hours, covered in cookie crumbs, looking at the reflection of some wild animal with untamed hair on the black screen in between episodes??!!! Oh, it’s you. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Or at least distract you in-between buffering. How about a few tips to beat back some park-deprived boredom? Ready?⁣

1. Ask someone for advice you don't need. Not us. Ok, we’ll try. But go easy.⁣

2. Channel your inner Bob Ross, while channeling your outer Bob Ross hair? That one slipped away from us.⁣

3. Who’s Bob Ross? Just paint a happy little tree.⁣

4. Research a national park! We’ll help!⁣

5. Get dressed. At least put on real pants to go out and check the mailbox. See, we’re still helping.⁣

6. Calculate the distance between your two favorite parks.⁣

7. Ugh, who let the math question in?⁣

8. Write a poem about a national park.⁣

9. How about a haiku? We’re determined for you to do some math.⁣

10. Read about Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, then play a game of hot lava in your living room. Oh no! It burns! Lesson learned, right there.⁣

11. Visit a park virtually from the comfort of your home…online. Hey! You’re doing it right now! Look at you. Check!⁣

12. Ok. Ask us for some park-related advice. We’ll do our best.⁣

13. Learn the difference between a buffalo and a bison. Bye son jokes in 3,2,1…⁣

14. Speaking of wildlife, review wildlife safety tips. It’s only a matter time before we’re back to reminding folks to social distance from bears, bison, alligators, and other creatures that will maul you… sorry, mar your park vacation plans.⁣

Find a park, research a trip, learn safety tips and more at nps.gov!

Image: Silhouette of a ranger sitting amongst the stars at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. NPS/Janice Wei⁣

#FindYourVirtualPark

While our staff works remotely on report writing we wanted to share this colorful shot from our partnership with the Hoo...
03/24/2020

While our staff works remotely on report writing we wanted to share this colorful shot from our partnership with the Hoosier National Forest during our Phase II work in Perry County Indiana during the summer 2019. Stay safe and stay home if you are able to.

Hoping for Happier DaysThe CAI and SIU are still in operation, but staff are being encouraged to work from home and "she...
03/19/2020

Hoping for Happier Days

The CAI and SIU are still in operation, but staff are being encouraged to work from home and "shelter in place". Students were told not to return to campus from spring break but instead will have to finish their classes remotely via the internet...SIGH...Let's hope things straighten out in the near future...meanwhile we have posted some photos on how various members of our CAI family are dealing with the crisis....

Photos of SIUC Mascot Baby Pippi Before and After She Found Out Hardly Anyone Has Donated to the SIUC Archaeological Fie...
03/11/2020

Photos of SIUC Mascot Baby Pippi Before and After She Found Out Hardly Anyone Has Donated to the SIUC Archaeological Field School Crowdfunding site

Baby Pippi was a happy little excited angel when she heard that the CAI had started its crowdfunding site up again to help support the kids on this years field school. Just go to https://salukifunder.siu.edu and look for the "Digging Illinois History" site. Any money raised on this site goes strictly for student support!! Last year we raised almost 1500 dollars that we used to pay the housing costs of two students who otherwise would not have been able to attend. After hearing that we only have raised $75 so far this year, Pippi fell to drinking tequila to help drown her sorrows and eating bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits. Help turn sad hungover Pippi back once again into happy angel Pippi by donating today at https://salukifunder.siu.edu/project/1975. In return, she and Emmie will send you CAI hats, gunflints, buttons, and other premiums depending on how much you donate.

Back Off Baby Groot and Baby Yoda, Baby Emmie Has Arrived and Has You All Beat for Cuteness!!! Emmie has "de-aged" herse...
03/10/2020

Back Off Baby Groot and Baby Yoda, Baby Emmie Has Arrived and Has You All Beat for Cuteness!!!

Emmie has "de-aged" herself from being 3 years old to being only a couple of months old by drinking from the Fountain of Youth that she has found somewhere on the SIUC campus (why is it that dogs know where all the cool things that I would like to find are located?). She wants me to tell you that anyone wanting to share this photo (that means YOU, Ms. Jessi!) of the most adorable puppy anyone has ever seen should please, please try to help her field school kids out by going to the https://salukifunder.siu.edu web site and looking for the "Digging Illinois History" site and donating at least $1 . Any money Emmie and her big sister Pippi raise through this crowdfunding site goes to help reduce housing costs for this year's SIUC field school students. AND if you donate enough (as in $25 or more) Emmie and Pippi will send you cool gifts such as CAI hats, replica buttons, and so on. So be the first kid on your block to donate today, and if you give enough Emmie may even show you the way to the Fountain of Youth (it is a puddle in front of the basketball stadium that she drinks from every day on her walk....shhh!! she knows the water looks icky but it works!) as well.

Working on making this Dalton cache accessible for research!
03/05/2020

Working on making this Dalton cache accessible for research!

After more than half a century - this Dalton cache is finally free of its wood paneling!

CAI mascots Emmie and Pippi want me to let you know that the 2020 SIU archaeology field school crowdfunding site is up a...
03/05/2020

CAI mascots Emmie and Pippi want me to let you know that the 2020 SIU archaeology field school crowdfunding site is up and running again at https://salukifunder.siu.edu/project/19756

In return for your donations, Pippi and Emmie also would like me to let you know that you can receive cool premiums such as CAI hats and replica military buttons, gunflints, and peace medals as well as site tours!!!

Last year we raised almost $1,400 dollars that we used to pay the housing expenses of two out of state students (Spencer and Mitchell) who otherwise would not have been able to attend the field school. 100% of what you donate goes to help students, we do not use it to buy expensive equipment or send ourselves to fancy restaurants in exotic locations such as Pinckneyville, the county seat of Perry County, Illinois.

Hurry! be the first kid on your block to donate today, we may even throw in a Little Orphan Annie secret decoder ring as a premium if we can find one on the internet somewhere!

Pippi and Emmie already have Niki's (their big sister's) Toyota Rav 4 fired up and are ready to go out to the field school and start showing the kids how to dig holes (they are very good at this, although a wee bit unsystematic).

There is still time left to donate during our annual fundraiser.  If you enjoy the archaeological content that we are ab...
03/04/2020
SIU Day Of Giving | Donate

There is still time left to donate during our annual fundraiser. If you enjoy the archaeological content that we are able to provide you on this page, please consider a donation to our research center by clicking the following link and selecting the Center for Archaeological Investigations. We appreciate your support! https://siuday.siu.edu/giving-day/22291/donate

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Today is the SIU Day of Giving!  Please consider contributing a donation to the Center for Archaeological Investigations...
03/04/2020
SIU Day Of Giving | Donate

Today is the SIU Day of Giving! Please consider contributing a donation to the Center for Archaeological Investigations. A donation of any amount will be used to help our students participate in archaeological research throughout this region. You can donate by clicking this link and selecting the Center for Archaeological Investigations from the drop-down lists: https://siuday.siu.edu/giving-day/22291/donate Thank you all for your support!

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Donate to CAI on SIU Day of Giving!!!Wednesday March 4 (tomorrow!) is SIU Carbondale’s Annual Day of Giving.  On this da...
03/03/2020

Donate to CAI on SIU Day of Giving!!!

Wednesday March 4 (tomorrow!) is SIU Carbondale’s Annual Day of Giving. On this day from 6 AM Wednesday to 6:00 AM Thursday you can help support the CAI and its continuing mission to train undergraduate and graduate students for careers as professional archaeologists by making a tax free donation to the CAI through the SIU Foundation Annual Day of Giving web site. You can donate directly to the CAI’s Foundation account on March 4 by using the following link: (https://siuf.org/giving/payment.php).

After clicking on this link TOMORROW you should see a draw down button with our name (Center for Archaeological Investigations) that will allow you to donate directly to the CAI. If not, simply type our name (Center for Archaeological Investigations) into the space provided. If you donate BEFORE 6:00 AM Wednesday (as in today) you can still donate but you will have to type our name into the open space, there will be no button to click on.

We use funds donated to our SIU Foundation account to train students in how to conduct field and laboratory research at archaeological sites in southern Illinois as well as training them in curation methods at our Stotlar Curation Center that we otherwise would lack the funds to do so. Please consider making a donation to our foundation account on March 4, we and our students would be extremely grateful if you did so.
Donate

What's new at Curation?
03/02/2020

What's new at Curation?

Getting some new (to us) shelving in place to improve the layout and work flow at the CAI's Curation Center! On the list:

- centralize supplies adjacent to work area
- move all paper records out of the kitchen
- clear shelving for in-progress reorganization of one of our larger collections

Stay tuned for final pics!

This past Saturday, Associate Director, Dr. Ryan Campbell and Researcher III, Ayla Amadio spent the day teaching scouts ...
02/24/2020

This past Saturday, Associate Director, Dr. Ryan Campbell and Researcher III, Ayla Amadio spent the day teaching scouts about archaeology as part of SIUC's STEM NOVA University. Twelve lucky scouts earned their Archaeology Merit badge through hands-on experience doing a real archaeological survey and test excavation at Thompson Woods, located in the middle of SIU's campus. Special Thanks to Steve Buhman for taking some of these great action shots. Many thanks to the Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America for involving us in this event!

Address

1000 Faner Drive
Carbondale, IL
62901

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Comments

Just received my swag for being a contributor to the field school scholarship fund and it is too cool! Thanks for the buttons and flint and especially all the background literature on the pieces. The pipe is cool and I haven't even broken it yet! The hat rocks too! Thanks for all you do! I cant wait to send you more students!
Larry taught us how to throw an atlatl. 😁
Micro drills 😄
Today we had a great opportunity to learn about lithics from a very knowledgeable teacher!
Dr. Wagner's lecture about cultural resource management at the Law School. 😁
Lets talk. Over one thousand examples, collected for twenty years have been posted.