Thursday, April 19, 2018

April Meeting Notice

Please take note of this important message date, time and place for the April CAS meeting. The date of the meeting is April 22. The meeting place is the Sulzer Regional Library: 4455 N Lincoln (Between Montrose and Sunnyside.)

Because the Sulzer Library closes an hour earlier than we are accustomed to the CAS Meeting opening is 2:30 pm.

Our traditional informal post meeting dinner will be at Lou Malnati's, 4340 N. Lincoln Avenue (corner of Lincoln and Montrose) There is public transportation and a parking lot a block north of the Sulzer Library.

The April Speaker

Date: Sunday, April 22, 2018.
Place: Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago 60625.
Time: 2:30 p.m. Social Hour: Refreshments and Fellowship.
Program: 3:00 p.m. Presentation: by CAS guest speaker,
Dr. Brian Adams, The Ernat Late Woodland Site. (Near Starved Rock).

Traveling with the CAS…. 2018 IAAA Annual Meeting …. And the day “Ancient Cahokia, Future Visions” conference

Hosted by the East Central Illinois Archaeological Society the IAAA annual meeting will take place in Champaign-Urbana on April 27-28, 2018. Members are invited to an all-day “Ancient Cahokia, Future Visions” conference that will be held on Friday April 27 to be held at the iHotel Conference Center in Champaign. The conference is sponsored by the University of Illinois and presented by the Illinois State Archaeological Society (ISAS) and Prairie Research Institute (PRI). This open forum is free and open to the public.

If you have an interest in attending the April 27 conference, please register as soon as possible at the Conference website:

“Ancient Cahokia, Future Visions” will focus on educating the public about the past and future of Cahokia. Streaming videos, 3D computer animation, a display of unique stone carvings, and a virtual reality station will accompany the talks by prominent archaeologists, Native American representatives, and National Park Service officials.

2018 IAAA Annual Meeting ….

Following the conference, our social gathering will take place from 4-6 pm at the Brown Bag Restaurant in Monticello; then on Saturday morning April 28, IAAA will convene at the Best Western Motel in Monticello, to hold its business meeting and chapter reports.

Annual meeting programming will include a presentation on recent excavations close to mounds at Allerton Park, and information on a new workshop initiative by the Illinois Archaeological Survey. Following lunch, we will carpool to scenic Allerton Park, Monticello, IL, for a tour of the mounds and other attractions.

Looking Back in Time

How to review your own work

The waitress who gave up and left the Celtic Knot before our C.A.S. diners arrived, would say that my presentation was too long, but I did not notice anyone sleeping. The best part was the You Tube two minute virtual journey through the last part of the Cave of Lascaux. The imagining of the number of objects needed to be carried by a few painters, helpers and shamans through the difficult darkness of the cave with beautiful and sometimes bizarre animals leaping out at you was most effective. It was just luck that I happened upon the video. If you were late look for it on YouTube.

Later I showed the gorgeous big fish in the Cave of Pileta with the double-lined outlines and explained that one line was a wish for Spring and a return or increase of fish; and the repeat line was a thanks to the gods when they reappeared. Or did I? This could be called sympathetic magic. Instead I think that I went unto the problem that nearby caves were presenting by claiming that their silhouetted hands were probably made by Neanderthals because they were dated by a new method (uranium thorium) as older than 40,000 BCE or before the time of Cro-Magnon.

Since all the archaeologists were marveling over man's state of brain and mind development which allowed Cro-Magnon to be so unique, the upgrading of Neanderthal's ability from tool-making to artist would be menacing to all they had written and claimed. Could Cro-Magnon have arrived earlier? Perhaps the Neanderthal learned from Cro-Magnon, or some other species were present in Europe but died out. Jean Clottes, the current most prodigious and active investigator has responded that every point dated with uranium thorium should be tested simultaneously with carbon dating.

Sympathetic Magic used for hunting was rebutted by those who claimed that the diets of Cro-Magnon did not include the numerous bison and hundreds of horses, but the lesser depicted reindeer and rabbit and smaller animals were eaten. Claude Levi Strauss, referred to as the Father of Structuralism, remarked, "Some animals are to eat, some to imagine." He suggested looking for the structure in the caves. Structuralists looked for opposites to reconcile in the patterning of the horse and the bison for meaning.

But the idea grew that caves were temples and the animals painted were either gods or spirit guides for rituals by medicine men, sorcerer's, wizards or shamans. But this was not accepted by all archaeologists, who did not agree with those who used ethnological similarities, mythologies and religious histories being advocated by many archaeologists influenced by historians of religion, philosophers and sometimes, psychologists. Paul Bahn was a noted archaeologist who has written sarcastically about such influences.

Taking a page out of the methods of others, I decided to examine Olmec and Maya shamans to make comparisons with Paleolithic shape-shifters, but had an advantage over hunter gatherer cultures, since the Maya had a language, and even a glyph for shape shifting into a jaguar. The famous scene depicted at the base of the shaft at Lascaux has been interpreted by many so-called experts.

I think that I made a case for the possibility of some form of auto sacrifice or pain infliction by a birdheaded shaman in ecstatic flight and sacrifice of the spirit of the bison for the tribe.

This would be experienced by the initiate brought into the carbon dioxide infested lowest depth of the cave temple.

But the investigations of David Lewis-Williams into the minds of the shamanic cave dwellers using psychoneurological experiments are providing more convincing evidence that the minds of the caveman were wired in the same manner as ours and that they were wired for a belief in religion. You would have to read The Mind in the Cave to understand it.

> Deb Stelton

Settling the new world….Is the issue settled?

The girl, one of two found, was just six weeks old when she died. Her body was buried on a bed of antler points and red ocher, and she lay undisturbed for 11,500 years.

Archaeologists discovered her in an ancient burial pit in Alaska in 2010, and on Wednesday an international team of scientists reported they had retrieved the child’s genome from her remains. The second-oldest human genome ever found in North America, it sheds new light on how people — among them the ancestors of living Native Americans — first arrived in the Western Hemisphere.

The analysis, published in the journal Nature, shows that the child belonged to a hitherto unknown human lineage— a group that split off from other Native-Americans just after, or perhaps just before, they arrived in North America.

“It’s the earliest branch in the Americas that we know of so far,” said Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen, a co-author of the new study. As far as he and other scientists can tell, these early settlers endured for thousands of years before disappearing.

The two infants were given names: the baby girl is Xach’itee’aanenh T’eede Gaay (“sunrise girl-child,” in Middle Tanana, the dialect of the local community), and the remains of the other infant, or perhaps a fetus, is YeƂkaanenh T’eede Gaay (“dawn twilight girl-child”).

The Healy Lake Village Council and the Tanana Chiefs Conference agreed to let scientists search the remains for genetic material. Eventually, they discovered mitochondrial DNA, which is passed only from mother to child, suggesting each had different mothers. Moreover, each infant had a type of mitochondrial DNA found also in living Native-Americans.

> Bob Stelton, editor

Summer Safari May 12, 2018

A virtual Ancient Maya Tour via the May 12, 2018 Milwaukee Public Museum’s spectacular temporary exhibition, The Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.

The CAS Summer Safari occurs earlier than usual because the spectacular Milwaukee exhibition closes on May 28, 2018. The MPM is hosting the largest Maya exhibition ever displayed in the United States. The exhibition is a combination of hundreds of authentic artifacts, immersive environments, multimedia, and hands-on activities, this exhibit is designed to give visitors a glimpse at a cross-section of Maya life. From divine kings who ruled powerful cities to the artisans and laborers who formed the backbone of society, Maya features spectacular examples of ancient artistry and objects. Additionally, visitors will get a close look at the scientific work being carried out at key Maya sites to understand exactly how we know what we know of this once-hidden culture.

Exhibit Highlights
 Hundreds of authentic artifacts
 Hands-on activities that dig into Maya life, such as building corbelled arches, exploring tombs, and more
 Replica carved monuments, or stelae, that were erected in the great plazas of Maya cities
 An exploration of Maya architecture, such as its awe-inspiring temples
 A re-creation of the elaborate royal tomb of the Great Scrolled Skull in Santa Rita Corozal, a Maya site in Belize
 An examination of the concepts of ritual and human sacrifice that allowed the Maya to transcend the earthly world and speak with the gods of the underworld
 And more!

CAS Member, Mike Ruggeri will be our docent.
Assembly: 1:00 pm (tentative [Assembly must be contingent on rail transportation times from Chicago, Drivers must adjust travel time.]
Admission:[$18 seniors, $25 adults. Group admission $15
Transportation: On your own.

Summer Safari

A visit to a nearby village

Archaeological Investigations at the Ernat Site (11LS267), LaSalle County, Illinois.

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Brian Adams as our speaker of the month. Dr. Adams will introduce the CAS to the folks of a nearby Woodland village of Ernat. Dr. Adams is the Assistant Director, Statewide Surveys for the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, he has been involved in cultural resource management for many years, including work on both prehistoric and historic period archaeological sites throughout the Midwest. He has a strong interest in stone tool analysis and has been an advocate for local historic preservation.

In the spring of 1987, archaeological excavations were conducted at the Ernat Site (11LS267), a multi-component occupation located in the Illinois River floodplain immediately east of Starved Rock State Park along State Route 71.

Archaeologists have recorded 7,748 Woodland Sites in Illinois. Early Woodland settlements were concentrated along major river valleys. Archaeologists studying the banks of the Illinois River in central Illinois have found many remains of small Early Woodland settlements on the river's shoreline.

Archaeological excavations at Ernat have yielded several pit and rock concentration features, including two possible basin structures, and rich lithic, ceramic, faunal and botanical assemblages, including evidence of bison exploitation and possible aquatic tuber roasting pits. Although artifacts and features indicate Early Archaic through Upper Mississippian/Late Prehistoric and possibly Contact-era occupations at the site, the majority of remains pertain to the Middle and Late Woodland periods. Of these materials, classified as Late Woodland, Swanson and Starved Rock Collared finds predominated. This talk summarizes the results of archaeological investigations at this site.

In Illinois Some Middle Woodland villages consisted of a few wigwam-type houses made of a wooden pole framework and covered with woven mats. A garden of seed-bearing plants like marsh elder might have been located nearby. In the background, members of the village are involved in the construction of an earthen burial mound. Middle Woodland villages were often located on tributary streams where they entered major river valleys. As dependence on crop plants increased, villages grew larger. Then, perhaps in response to population pressure, new settlements began to appear in upland areas during the Late Woodland. Some Late Woodland villages were organized in a circular village plan with an open central plaza area surrounded by several dozen circular houses.

The extent span of the Woodlands culture includes much of the archaeological history of Illinois and enriches our understanding of Pre-Columbian America.
Meetings of the Chicago Archeological Society are free and open to the public.