Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UIS Emiquon Field Station to host lecture on "Deep Views of the Past"

The University of Illinois at Springfield's Emiquon Field Station will host a public lecture titled "The Emiquon Archaeo-Geological Project: Deep Views of the Past" at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18, at the Field Station, which is at The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Preserve, located between Havana and Lewistown. The program is free and open to the public; reservations are not required.

The featured speaker will be Alan Harn, assistant curator of anthropology at Dickson Mounds Museum.

In 2004, before water returned to the historic floodplain, the Ameren Corporation worked to anchor a gas pipeline that stretches across parts of the Emiquon Preserve. The excavations that resulted provided an opportunity for Harn and Sally McClure of The Nature Conservancy to gain new insights into paleo climates, bottomland geomorphology, and their relationships to past human civilizations at the site.

In this talk, Mr. Harn will describe the excavations and interpret the complex array of subsurface information that was revealed. Deep sediment profiles indicated that today's Thomson Lake is only the most recent in a series of Illinois river paleochannels to have occupied the bottomland. Archaeological remains distributed along these water courses allowed researchers to determine when the paleochannels and their associated landforms developed and died away. Uniquely preserved deposits of paleo vegetation on the lake beds also provided botanists with new information about climate more than 10,000 years ago.

Entrance to the field station is on Prairie Road, located off Illinois Rts. 97/78, approximately one-and-a-half miles north of the Dickson Mounds turnoff. A sign will be posted at the turnoff. See a map.

For more information, contact Mike Lemke, Emiquon Field Station director, at lemke.michael@uis.edu or 217/ 206-7339.