As part of its mission ISAS seeks to disseminate information about Illinois' rich archaeological heritage to the public and to professional communities. This effort includes giving formal public lectures and creating exhibits as well as giving talks to local school children. ISAS researchers are also active in presenting the results of their work at professional conferences and publishing numerous articles and books.
Science in Support of the Forest Preserves of Cook County: Developing the Natural and Cultural Resources Master Plan
The Institute’s Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, and Illinois State Water Survey are collaborating with the Forest Preserves of Cook County to develop a comprehensive Natural and Cultural Resources Master Plan for the Forest Preserves. According to Toni Preckwinkle, Forest Preserves President, “This plan will provide strategic guidance to ensure the diversity of our natural heritage is sustained in the next century.”
Brooklyn, IL Project
Since 2008, ISAS has partnered with Brooklyn’s citizens, leaders, and their historical society to form the Brooklyn Public Engagement Program. The program is an effort to revitalize the town using archaeology, history, and shared memories to create a sense of place and make its past relevant to current and future generations. The program’s goals include historic preservation, elevating awareness of Brooklyn’s significance, and heritage-based community development.
Colonial Heritage Project
To most residents of modern-day Illinois, the fact that we were part of French and British colonies for a century is barely apparent. Long before the American Revolution, families of French descent built homes, cultivated fields, engaged in the fur trade, and established towns along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. These European settlements were intricately linked to a number of Native American tribes, who had established their own colonial period communities in the region during the seventeenth century.
War of 1812 Forts Project
If you asked many Midwesterners, they would tell you that the War of 1812 was primarily fought along the Atlantic seaboard and Gulf Coast of the US, as well as the Great Lakes and adjoining portions of Canada. The role the upper Mississippi River valley played in this conflict is generally not well known, although this part of the western frontier figured prominently in the reasons for going to war with the British. Several key interruption points for travel along the river proved to be vital in the Americans struggle against the British and their native allies, including the area where Warsaw was ultimately founded.
As part of the Illinois Height Modernization program LiDAR data is now available for several counties. This data be useful for Archaeologists and Cultural Resource Managers. Accurate and detailed elevation models can be derived from the data. This may provide us the ability to obtain accurate location and topographic information for prehistoric mounds and earthen constructs. Over 9000 mounds are documented with in Illinois most of which (approximately 2/3) have not been formally relocated or otherwise verified in the past 25 years.