Topic ID #36598 - posted 1/10/2016 10:42 AM

2016 Cahokia Field School in the USA


This field school is run by the Institute for Field Research. For any questions, please email or call us toll free at +1 (877) 839-4374. Institute for Field Research office address: 2999 Overland Ave. #103, Los Angeles, CA, 90064


Location: Shiloh, Illinois
Cost: $4,550
Course Dates: June 19 – July 23, 2016
Field School Website:

Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through our academic partner, University of California Los Angeles.

Tuition includes registration, accommodations, programs, meals on workdays, and health insurance. Airfare, weekend meals, and optional excursions are additional.


This field school will take place at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, Illinois. Cahokia Mounds is located near modern day St. Louis, Missouri, and dates back to the 11th-14th century CE. It is the largest Native American city north of Mexico. Participating students will be a part of this new research project focusing on the role of water in the creation and organization of social space.  This project targets a residential area between two aboriginally constructed water features. We will be excavating three features, an early residential house, a late compound wall, and a possible special-use building that likely dates to the later part of Cahokia’s occupation.  The overall project goal is to obtain a better understanding of the importance of water to residential and religious life during Cahokia’s formative years and its decline.



faculty sarah baires
Dr. Sarah E. Baires ( is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Eastern Connecticut State University.
faculty Melissa Baltus
Dr. Melissa R. Baltus (
Melissa.Baltus@UToledo.Edu) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Toledo. 


Students will live in comfortable, but modest, field housing in the Shiloh (IL) area at a local apartment complex.  Each unfurnished apartment will be shared by up to five people and will have two bedrooms, one kitchen, and one bathroom. Students will be required to bring their own blow up twin-size mattress or cot, bedding (or sleeping bag), and towel(s). The site of Cahokia is located in Collinsville, Illinois a 30-minute drive from the field lodging. 


MEALS: All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food. The daily diet will consist of protein, vegetable, and grains.  Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are difficult to maintain in a large group setting. Vegetarians, however, are more easily accommodated. Likewise, dietary allergies will be accommodated.


On successful completion of the field school, students will be able to:

• Understand the different elements of an archaeological field project and the relationships between these elements

• Apply standard excavation methods to archaeological contexts

• Use standard recording techniques to document excavation results

• Undertake preliminary processing of archaeological artifacts and ecofacts

• Undertake preliminary analysis of archaeological artifacts and ecofacts




Archaeological field work involves physical work in the outdoors. You should be aware that conditions in the field are different than those you experience in your home, dorms or college town. This program operates in a hot and humid environment in southern Illinois. During the day, temperatures fluctuate between 70-100 degrees. Humidity is relatively high and mosquitoes and/or flies may be close to the excavation area. You are required to wear sunscreen in order to protect yourself from sunburn. A hat is highly recommended. Additionally, students must drink plenty of water in these conditions to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. If you have any medical concerns, please consult with your doctor. For all other concerns, please consult with the project director – as appropriate.


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