Readings in Illinois Archaeology

In general, archaeologists write reports for other archaeologists. They use technical terms and assume the reader has a working knowledge of contemporary archaeology and culture history. In doing so, archaeologists have long underestimated the interest of the public in Illinois' history, especially the history of Native American cultures in Illinois. This module, and other publications like it, represent an opportunity for archaeologists to share their knowledge of the past. That siad, we still must rely on technical reports to compose a reading list on the subject.

This list of readings has been compiled with two things in mind. First, we have selected articles and books that are generally available to the public. A few of these readings were written for a public audience, but most have been written in a more technical style. Second, we have intentionally selected compendiums of specific subjects with the idea that they contain extensive bilbiographies that will direct the reader to numerous other sources.

By a recent count, more than 10,000 technical reports, articles, and monographs have been written on Illinois archaeology, and there are probably triple that number of unpublished papers on the subject. We hope this list will provide a place to begin your continued discovery of Illinois archaeology.

The reading list is divided into three parts: culture history, regional studies, and additional readings. Readings on culture history are subdivided into the hopefully now familiar major periods of Native American prehistory - Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and Late Prehistoric. In addition, we have provided some readings on both the bolonial and American periods of Illinois History.

The readings on regional studies are subdivided into eight regions - northwestern, northeastern, west central, the American Bottom, central Illinois, lower Illinois River valley, Wabash River valley, and southern Illinois. The regions have not particular importance, but simply provide a convenient means of giving the reader an opportunity to explore the past in their region.

The list of additional readings is a collection of books and articles that cross cut cultural periods and geographic regions.

This list was compiled by Alice Berkson, Buane Esarey, and Michael Wiant.

Culture history

Regional studies

Additional readings