Speaker of the Month: Dr. Mark Wagner
Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 3:00pm
Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark recruited 11 men from the garrison of Fort Kaskaskia (1803-1807) in Randolph County, Illinois, in 1803, to join their famous expedition to explore the American West. This fort has always been assumed to have been in the same location as an earlier French fort (1758-1763) of the same name. Archaeological investigations by the Southern Illinois University (SIU) archaeological field school class over the past two years, however, has revealed that in reality there were two separate forts with the same name. Previously unknown remains of the American Fort Kaskaskia visited by Lewis and Clark were discovered about 100 yards north of the grass-covered French Fort Kaskaskia.
The discovery of this new fort site comprises a major addition to the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803-1806) in that it represents a time capsule of the types of artifacts and remains used by American soldiers in the early 1800s. Through the use of remote sensing investigations and hand excavations over the past two years, the SIU field school is recovering new information regarding the archaeology and history of both fort sites and the people who lived in them. Speaker Dr. Mark Wagner will reveal details about his team’s discovery of the American Fort Kaskaskia, updating this topic published in the September 2018 issue of Illinois Antiquity magazine.
About Our Speaker: Dr. Mark Wagner is Associate Professor in Anthropology and the Director of the Center for Archaeological Investigations at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), where he also received his PhD in Anthropology. His current research interests include the Native American rock art of Illinois; late eighteenth/early nineteenth century culture contact between Native American peoples and Euro-American settlers along the Illinois frontier; Diaspora archaeology; the Cherokee Trail of Tears in Illinois; Civil War archaeology and French and American colonial and military archaeology in Illinois. Dr. Wagner is currently directing the SIUC archaeological field school in the excavation of the two fort sites featured in this talk.
As Director of the Center for Archaeological Investigations/CAI, he supervises a small staff of professional archaeologists, students, and interns in applied archaeology projects for state and federal agencies within Illinois. The CAI is particularly active in giving undergraduate and graduate students experience in applied archaeology projects to prepare them for jobs with state, federal, and private agencies after graduation. Your support of their work would be appreciated! Link to the page at https://salukifunder.siu.edu/project/14083
Meetings are open to the public and free of charge. Social period starts at 3:00pm. Lectures begin at 3:30pm. Join us!
Evanston Public Library
1703 Orrington, Evanston
All CAS meetings are free and open to the public.