Archaeology Camp

Main Content

Unearthing History: Archaeology Camp

Explore SIU: Unearthing History Archaeology Camp


Explore what remains of historic Fort Kaskaskia by scraping dirt and uncovering a fort that lay undiscovered for two centuries.  Your day will be packed with activities as you dig during the day and explore our campus in the evening with fun and relaxing activities. 

Fort Kaskaskia consists of both an American and a French fort in two separate locations. The Lewis and Clark expedition stopped at the fort in 1803 to pick up troops and supplies for their trip. The site of the American fort was unknown to historians until 2017, when it was discovered 300 meters to the north of the French fort by the SIU archaeology field school. Catch that? SIU faculty, staff and students found a fort that no one knew existed! 

This discovery helped rewrite the early history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by discovering the location of the long-lost American Ft. Kaskaskia visited by the expedition in September, 1803. Over the last five years they also have discovered an earthen cellar dug US soldiers within that fort as well as large refuse pit dug a year prior to the expedition (1802) within the nearby French Ft. Kaskaskia (11R326). Both have produced a wealth of artifacts including buttons, animal remains, ceramics, and other items used by U.S. soldiers in the early 1800s, some of whom including Sergeant Patrick Gass joined the expedition from Ft. Kaskaskia.

You really will unearth history at this camp and excavation of the newly found fort continues.  Join in the dig and and see what has yet to be discovered!  

Extra Good Stuff

Possible side quests include the Pierre Menard home, Fort Deschartes, and the Center for Archaeological Investigations Curation Center. Relaxing evening activities on campus will cool you down after a hot day at the dig. 

Camp Registration

Date: June 12-17
Grades: 9-12
Cost:  $500 Overnight, $400 Commuter
Time: Sunday - Friday.
Drop-off Sunday afternoon and pickup Friday afternoon.


Register online

Register by phone at 618/536-7751.

Complete the form.
(Return form in-person, by fax, mail or email.  Please do not send credit card information through email.)


Camp Release Form
The Camp Release Form is required for camp participation and must be received in our office prior to camp beginning.