Research Road Trip – Archaeology Field Study

I love research!

I’ve started working on my next book featuring Eric and Renee and some new characters. Part of the setting is an archaeolgical dig site in southern Indiana. I wanted to get some hands on experience with an actual dig, so last weekend I embarked on a research roadtrip!  I had the most incredible weekend driving across  picturesque southernIndiana and Illinois!

Dr. Susan Alt of Indiana University generously allowed me to spend a morning observing a Field Study student dig site at Emerald Mounds – a Mississippian Era Native American site about 20 miles east of St. Louis. Students from the University of Illinois and Indiana University are spending six to eight weeks excavating a site that is at risk of being lost due to farming and erosion. I am a science geek at heart and it was incredibly cool to get to watch them at work!!

I also visited Angel Mounds near Evansville, IN and Cahokia Mounds in Illinois just east of St. Louis. All three sites are settlements of Native Americans who lived there until about the year 1400. The Cahokia site had more inhabitants during its heyday than London did at the same time.

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Here is the Field Study team who allowed me to peek over their shoulders as they worked.

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Working on the site.

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Fragrant milkweed.

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Learning excavation techniques.

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The site is in a very beautiful farmland/pastoral setting on a bluff overlooking St. Louis in the distance.

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