New Philadelphia: An Archaeology of Race in the Heartland

By Paul A. Shackel | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
It Was Never Lost

In 1998 Jane Buikstra, now at Arizona State University, invited me to the Center for American Archaeology (CAA) to help the staff identify historic sites that might be of interest for a future research program. The headquarters of the CAA is in Kampsville, Illinois, in Calhoun County, adjacent to and south of Pike County. The area has tremendous prehistoric resources, as American Indians settled and exploited these rich riverine environments of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. I have known Buikstra since 1979, when I participated in a field school that worked ahead of a road construction project for the development of U.S. Route 72 that connected Springfield, Illinois, to Hannibal, Missouri. Coincidently the new road passes immediately to the south of New Philadelphia. I worked on the Elizabeth Mounds located on the western banks of the Illinois River, above Napoleon Hallow in Pike County. It was an experience that changed my life. I became enthralled with knowing more about the past and the thrill of discovery. Ever since that time I have worked hard to become an archaeologist and have been in occasional contact with Buikstra, meeting from time to time at national conferences for brief chats.

When I arrived at Kampsville, Buikstra was out of town, and Cindy Sutton and Jody O’Gorman, both working for the CAA, showed me several possible sites in Calhoun and Pike Counties. I also did some archival work. At the end of my stay I suggested to them that if the CAA wanted

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