French Colonial Archaeology II 2020 - Passport in Time

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Illinois - Shawnee NF
Closed! French Colonial Archaeological Explorations 2020

Pic1.jpg by US Forest Service
Top row (l-r): key, clasp, and gun wormer
Center row (l-r): plain button, French gunflint, and two hand-forged nails
Bottom row (l-r): plain French faience body sherd and two English hand-painted refined earthenware hollowware rims
Far left: possible linked chain to musket vent pick

June 1-5, 2020
Volunteers must commit to a minimum of 3 days

Please join us at Fort Kaskaskia, on the Shawnee National Forest, while we continue to explore and uncover the rich history of southern Illinois! This year, our goal is to learn more about French Colonial archaeology and the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery. Archaeological explorations in southern Illinois have a long heritage of French colonial occupation dating back to the late 18th century. There are French land claims scattered along the edges of the Forest, as well as features and old roads such as Le Grand Trace, associated with French exploration. This summer, Southern Illinois University’s (SIU) archaeological field school is being held at Fort Kaskaskia, within Randolph County, in the heart of Illinois’ French colonial district. In 2017, SIU archaeologists unexpectedly discovered there were two Ft. Kaskaskias: a French Colonial fort (in use ca. 1759-1765) and the remains of an American fort (in use ca. 1802-1807). The latter was visited by Lewis and Clark in 1803 as they assembled the Corps of Discovery. Recovering artifacts discarded from the forts’ previous occupants allows us to actually touch the past – and is a great way to learn more about Illinois' history. PIT participants will also have a day to tour the surrounding countryside, which is dotted with colonial French architecture and history, and to take in sights via a ferry across the Mississippi River – we hope to see you in June!

Number of openings: 12

Special skills: Previous archaeological excavation, survey, mapping, sketching/photography, and/or artifact identification experience helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 10 years old; applicants under the age of 18 must apply with a parent or guardian; guardian MUST submit a separate application and plan to attend
Facilities: Tent and RV available at no charge at Fort Kaskaskia State Park; water, pit toilet, and each campsite has a fire ring, grill, and picnic table; dump and water fill for RVs; no hook-ups; Chester is a full-service community with a number of hotels/motels, restaurants, and a full range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/camping equipment, meals, and daily transportation to and from designated meeting area(s) each day (if opting to stay off-site)

Nearest towns: Project based out of Fort Kaskaskia State Park; Ellis Grove, 5 miles; Chester, 8 miles; Prairie Du Rocher, 17 miles

Applications due: March 30, 2020

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