- Dickson Mounds, Lewistown
The Illinois Valley Archaeological Society (IVAS) will meet Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at the Dickson Mounds Museum beginning at 7:00 p.m. Featured speakers will be Dale McElrath and Madeleine Evans, representing the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS), will present a talk titled "The Middle to Late Archaic Habitation and Mortuary Site at Tree Row". This event is free and the public is invited to attend. Refreshments will be available following the presentation.
During much of 1989, archaeologists from the Resource Investigation Program (now the Illinois State Archaeological Survey) at the University of Illinois conducted emergency excavations at the Tree Row site on an alluvial fan overlooking the floodplain of the Illinois River. McElrath and Evans will discuss the site's most extensive occupation, a Middle/Late Archaic village dating between ca. 3400-2800 B.C. The recovery of over 100 burials and 200 domestic pits, rock clusters, and hearths, as well as numerous stone tools, make this one of the largest and best-documented Archaic sites in the Central Illinois River valley. Animal and plant remains and dietary evidence point to a lifestyle dependent on the river and backwater lakes for subsistence for several hundred years. The presence of an extensive formal cemetery indicates strong, long-time ties to this location by the Tree Row inhabitants.
Dale L. McElrath (MA) is a retiree of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, having served as the Statewide Survey Coordinator for 30 years. He has specialized in lithic studies and has published extensively on Archaic and Woodland cultures of Illinois. He is concerned with ensuring that the Illinois public benefits from and shares in the knowledge that has been gained through archaeological research over the past decades. He has developed a strong interest in the history of the discipline of archaeology, especially as it unfolded in Illinois.
Madeleine Evans has been the senior lithic analyst for ISAS and its predecessors since the 1990s. She has published widely on lithic assemblages from large settlements dating to the Late Archaic, Late Woodland, Upper Mississippian, Mississippian, and Protohistoric periods, as well as smaller sites spanning the ancient occupations of Illinois. She has also been active in working with the public to document private collections across the state.
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 www.ExperienceEmiquon.com. Also check out weekly updates on Facebook at "Illinois State Museum – Dickson Mounds".