Joe Wheeler describes Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie deep exploration
~ report by Bob Stelton ~
Modern Archaeological Technologies
It would seem that the CAS December guest speaker is a member of a magician’s cult that can conjure up not only visions of the past but the past itself! Such magic was brought to the attention of holiday revelers at the annual holiday party of the Chicago Archaeological Society on Sunday December 8, 2019.
The CAS speaker, Joseph H. Wheeler III, a retired Marine Corps Colonel, shared with a holiday gathering the mystery of state-of-the-art technology presently enhancing the new archaeological technologies available to the archaeological discipline. Mr. Wheeler’s presentation, Traces on the Land: Using Advanced Technologies to Understand the Prairie Past, fulfilled the program.
Joe Wheeler reminds his audience that no magic is employed. He employs good science. His talk on traces on the land works with GIS, remote sensing, geophysical prospection, and other modern technologies at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Wilmington, Illinois which is open to the public.
Within Midewin are rich human resources and more including Monarch Butterflies, bison and plant ecology.
Fun or Hoax?
LiDAR (Ground Penetrating Radar) has been a near-magical tool for the archaeologist and note that it is as well an expensive one. However, a group of volunteers at Midewin had some fun with the tool
The USDA Forest Service has an archaeological program open to volunteers “Passport in Time” that has attracted approximately 7,000 volunteers.