Opening Sunday, October 27th, from 3PM - 4:30PM
Ms. Karen Atwell, owner of Farmland Archaeological Services, will present observations on the excavations of a Hopewellian burial mound on Sunday, October 27, beginning at our usual start time of 3:00pm at the Evanston Public Library meeting room.
Ms. Atwell’s focus will be on the Naples-Russell Mound 8 (NRM 8), an early Hopewellian burial mound located along the western bluffline of the Illinois River valley in northern Pike County. In 1990, Center for American Archaeology excavations at the mound were conducted to determine the damage done by decades of curious individuals excavating into the mound, tree clearing, and agriculture in order to provide structural information to reconstruct the mound to its original size and shape.
Hopewellian mounds were first constructed in northern Pike County during the early Mound House phase (ca. 50 B.C.-A.D. 100). The early Mound House phase was an era of far-reaching and diverse interregional exchange in exotic artifacts and raw materials associated with Hopewellian mortuary ritual – an exchange pattern that may largely predate the advent of village-based bluff-top mound cemeteries of the later Mound House phase (ca. A.D. 100-350).
The structure of NRM 8 revealed that the mound was built as a sequence of events that were not located around a single burial feature which is more common to Hopewellian mounds.
Co-author of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey research volume Excavations at Blue Island and Naples-Russell Mounds and Related Hopewellian Sites in the Lower Illinois Valley (Farnsworth and Atwell 2015), Ms. Atwell will present the findings of the excavations through pictures of the mound structure and the artifacts that were recovered.
Our speaker, Karen Atwell, grew up on a farm in rural Geneseo, Illinois near three archaeological sites. These nurtured an interest in archaeology that has continued for over 40 years. While in high school, she was introduced to archaeology by an IAAA member, and through that contact met legendary Northwestern University archaeologist Dr. Stuart Struever. That led to participation in an archaeological field school at Kampsville, Illinois. Following graduation from Northwestern, she worked for the Center for American Archeology as field director for the excavation of the Kuhlman Mound Group (necessary for the construction of Interstate 72), and as field director for Cultural Resource Management (CRM) projects specializing in mortuary projects.
She received her Masters degree from Arizona State in Archaeology with an emphasis on mortuary studies. Archeological projects in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico followed.
In 1989, Mr. Ken Farnsworth, director of the Center for American Archeology Contract Program, started the project at Naples-Russell Mound 8 in the Pike County Conservation Area. Ms. Atwell returned to Illinois to run this project and remained working for the Center for American Archeology following that project for eleven years.
In 2009, she founded her own Cultural Resource Management company, Farmland Archaeological Services.