June 10, 2019

Media Advisory – Archeological work at Miller Grove and Fort Kaskaskia

Archaeologists and students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale will be working this month on archaeological investigations at Miller Grove in Pope County and the historic Fort Kaskaskia site. 

The SIU Archeology Field School will be working Monday through Saturday at the Miller Grove settlement, a community founded by freed African Americans in the 1840s. The work will be between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

In addition, The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled an open house on Saturday, which will be an opportune time for reporters, photographers and news crews to visit the site and do a story on the investigations. 

The field school will be working with six Forest Service “Passport in Time” volunteers during the week. 

The Miller Grove excavation location along Forest Service Road 1889. To get to the location:

  • From Vienna, go two miles east on Illinois 146, passing underneath Interstate 57 overpass.
  • Turn left onto North Illinois 147. Go about 11 miles on Illinois 147 to Cedar Grove Road.
  • Turn left onto Cedar Grove Road; the intersection will be highlighted with flagging tape.
  • Go about 2.5 miles to Forest Service Road 1889. Look for flagging tape and a porta potty sitting in the edge of the woods. There will also be SIU and other vehicles parked along the road. 

The field school will return to Fort Kaskaskia on June 17 and be there until June 28. An opportune time for media will be June 24-28 when the school will work with about 20 volunteers during that time. The location of that field school is at Fort Kaskaskia, 4372 Park Road, Ellis Grove, Illinois. 

To arrange for interviews check on excavation times, contact Mark Wagner, director of the Center for Archaeological Investigations and an associate professor in anthropology, at 618/521-9217 or 618/453-5031.