Military and African-American Diaspora Archaeology in Illinois

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

Location: Carbondale, IL, US

Season: May 17, 2021 to June 26, 2021

Session Dates: May 17-June 26, 2021

Application Deadline: May 10, 2021

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Project Director:
Dr. Mark J. Wagner

Project Description:

We will be working at three historic period sites this summer: (1) a French colonial fort (Ft. Kaskaskia I); (2) the  American fort Kaskaskia II (also called the Garrison Hill site) in Illinois visited by the explorers Lewis and Clark in 1803; (3) and a pre-Civil War African American community (Miller Grove site) believed to have been involved in the Underground Railroad helping runaway slaves on their path to freedom. Students will have the opportunity to work with remote sensing (ground penetrating radar and gradiometer), drones, and GPS mapping equipment at all three sites as well as learning field excavation methods. We will cycle small groups of students between the three sites and our curation facility in Carbondale, Illinois, for purposes of social distancing. Mask wearing and social distancing will also form part of the field investigations to the extent possible.

Period(s) of Occupation: 1734-1865 A.D.

Ground penetrating radar, gradiometer, drones, historical archaeology, freed slave community, French colonial archaeology, military archaeology, curation

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 6 weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: College freshman or above, no prior field experience required

Room and Board Arrangements:
Housing is available in the SIU dormotories ($21 a night) or at a summer camp type environmental center (Touch of Nature) owned by the university that is located a 15 minute drive away from SIUC. Rooms at Touch of Nature cost $25 a night but a car is required to stay there. Meals are available at Touch of Nature for an extra charge ($25 a day).  Cost: SIU dormitories = $21 a night or $147 a week. Touch of Nature cabins = $25 a night or $175 a week.

Academic Credit:
6 credit hours credits offered by Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Tuition is $2247.50

Contact Information:

Dr. Mark Wagner

Center for Archaeological Investigations, 1000 Faner Drive, Mailcode 4527




United States

Phone: 618-453-5055

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