May 28, 2019

Media Advisory-SIU archaeologists uncovering further information on the historic Fort Kaskaskia

Archaeologists and students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale are back excavating the historic Fort Kaskaskia site in Randolph County, Illinois this summer.

After discovering a previously unknown American fort on the site, the team plans to conduct additional digs and analysis to uncover further information on the historic discovery.

The team is on the Kaskaskia site until June 25, with several exciting events scheduled. SIU students are on the site Wednesday, May 29, for interviews and photos. Local Boy Scouts will join archaeologists on June 6 for a demonstration on prehistoric flint working. Other interested volunteers will also join the site on June 24-25.

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the field school and ensuing events at Fort Kaskaskia, 4372 Park Road, Ellis Grove, Illinois.

Boasting a long history at SIU, the archaeology field school is a hands-on class many students take to learn practical excavation and analysis skills. Fort Kaskaskia is especially interesting as the student archaeologists, with guidance from, Mark Wagner, director for the center for archaeological investigations, recently uncovered a new fort on the site.

Historians have long believed that Fort Kaskaskia served as a fort for both 1750s French and early 1800s American troops. While previous information implied the two groups used the same fort, the SIU archaeologists uncovered an additional fort not far from the original site.

The discovery has received attention over the last year, and the team hopes to build on that information going forward.

To arrange for interviews, contact Mark Wagner, associate professor in anthropology, at 618/453-5031.