- Dickson Mounds, Lewistown
The Illinois Valley Archaeological Society (IVAS) will meet Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at the Dickson Mounds Museum beginning at 7:00 p.m. Featured speaker will be Richard Fishel, Senior Research Archaeologist, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Prairie Research Institute, will present a talk titled “Revisiting Marseton 2: Archaeological Investigations at a 1500-Year-Old Native Village in the Mississippi Floodplain of Mercer County, Illinois”. This event is free and the public is invited to attend. Refreshments will be available following the presentation.
The Marseton 2 archaeological site, located in the Mississippi River floodplain of Mercer County, Illinois, is a Native village and plaza that was occupied around AD 500. A few hundred years after its abandonment, the village was buried by up to five feet of flood sediments in one catastrophic flash flood event. Archaeological excavations below these flood deposits revealed a thin artifact-laden cultural midden and almost 200 pit features that included food processing and storage facilities, as well as a large-sized circular arrangement of post molds. Artifacts recovered from the site number approximately 840,000 lithic, 740,000 ceramic, and 525,000 faunal items. Included within this artifact assemblage are hundreds of projectile points and knives, exotic raw materials, near-complete ceramic vessels, copper beads and awls, antler batons, bone awls, and drilled turtle carapaces. While artifact analyses are still ongoing, this presentation discusses what is known about the village thus far.
Richard Fishel is a Senior Research Archaeologist at the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS), Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to his ISAS employment, his resume included positions at the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA), the Center for American Archeology, and Western Illinois University. While at the OSA, he also served as Adjunct Instructor in the American Indian and Native Studies Program and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Iowa, where he taught several archaeological field schools. He has conducted fieldwork mainly in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri during his 35+ year career in archaeology, and has authored more than 275 technical reports, publications, and professional papers on Midwestern archaeology. His primary research interests have generally centered on Native ceramics and the information they convey, with recent research involving the early Late Woodland (ca. AD 300–700) cultures of west-central Illinois.
The Illinois State Museum—Dickson Mounds is located between Lewistown and Havana off Illinois Routes 78 and 97. The museum is open free to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day. Tours and special programs are available for groups with reservations. For more information call 309.547.3721 or TTY 217.782.9175 or visit the museum's web site at http://www.illinoisstatemuseum.org/content/welcome-dickson-mounds. Also check out weekly updates on Facebook at “Illinois State Museum – Dickson Mounds”.