The Koster site is an important open-air, deeply stratified site located in Greene County, Illinois that contains deposits dating from approximately 9000 BP to the Historic period. Although twenty-five cultural horizons have been recognized, the most important part of the sequence is the well-preserved Archaic Period sequence divided as follows: Early Archaic 1 (ca. 9000 BP, Horizon 13), Early Archaic 2 ( 8700-8450 BP, Horizons 12 and 11), Middle Archaic 1 (8300-7600 BP, Horizons 10B-8E), Middle Archaic 2 (7300-6850 BP, Horizons 8D-8B), Middle Archaic 3 (5800-4900 BP, Horizons 7B-6A) and Late Archaic (3950-2950 BP, Horizon 4). There are also Woodland and Mississippian deposits at the Koster site and an early Historic period farmstead existed at this location as well.
The Koster site is located in Section 21, T 9 N, R 13 W Greene County in the lower Illinois Valley. The site was test excavated in the summer of 1969, under the direction of Stuart Struever of Northwestern University. Originally it was defined on the basis of debris from a Late Woodland occupation on a ridge top. The 1969 tests at Koster also identified possible older occupations beneath the Late Woodland occupation. Between 1969 and 1978 major excavations were conducted at the Koster site by Northwestern University, and significant interdisciplinary research was carried out at Koster into the 1980s. Significant data on Archaic period subsistence, settlement, technology and lifestyle were generated by this project. New research on Koster site faunal remains has been undertaken in the twenty-first century. Datasets included in tDAR are faunal in nature.
During the 1970s the Koster site excavations were a public attraction and thousands of people were introduced to archaeology by observing these excavations. The educational programs of the Center for American Archaeology (formerly the Foundation for Illinois Archaeology) based in Kampsville, IL originally grew in association with the Koster Project.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Cite this Record
Koster Site. ( tDAR id: 2970) ; doi:10.6067/XCV87P90SQ
Calendar Date: -7500 to 1200
min long: -90.582; min lat: 39.173 ; max long: -90.495; max lat: 39.265 ;
Individual & Institutional Roles
Project Director(s): Sarah Neusius
Prepared By(s): Indiana University of Penn.
General Note: The Koster faunal databases loaded in tDAR were identified by several zooarchaeologists. Frederick C. Hill and his assistants identified much of the early material collected in test units dug in 1969 as well as materials from the excavation of Horizons 1-6. Hill's 1975 dissertation (see reference list associated with this project) is a primary source for this material. Sarah W. Neusius identified faunal remains from Horizons 8-10B as well as a small sample of materials from Horizon 11. Her 1982 dissertation as well as a 1986 article (see references) are the primary sources for this material. John Hewitt created the faunal file for Horizons 8-10B identifications in conjunction with his own 1982 dissertation (see references) Andrea L. Boon completed a MA thesis on a large sample of materials from Horizon 11 and reported on this research in her 2011 thesis (see references).
|The Koster fauna remains are held by the Illinois State Museum, although some materials may remain with the Center for American Archaeology in Kampsville, IL.|