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Brad Koldehoff, Chief Archaeologist, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), gave Dr. Cory
Willmott the signal to dim the lights in a room filled with students, faculty and community members
who came to see his talk. During his presentation, Mr. Koldehoff explained the history and
preliminary results of the archaeological excavations in East St. Louis associated with the Mississippi River Bridge (MRB) project.

Mr. Koldehoff explained the chronology and spatial patterning of the site plan, with particular note of the
Feature 2000, the basal remnants of a mound with associated burials. This area has been set aside as a
protected archaeological preserve. The project team consulted with representatives of the Osage and
Miami nations, and the Feature 2000 Preservation Area will be available to federally recognized tribes
that wish to rebury remains found in the project area during the archaeological excavations and future
excavations in the region.

During his talk, Mr. Koldehoff described the Exchange Avenue Figurine, found in the corner of one of the
many burned remnants of houses excavated at the site by teams of archaeologists from the Illinois State
Archaeological Survey (ISAS). Standing at about six cm tall, it depicts a woman kneeling holding a conch
shell dipper or cup used for ceremonial drinking. Mississippian figurines are extremely rare, and this example
is one of the few figurines found during scientific excavations. Like others that have been found in the region,
it likely represents a fertility goddess or deity.

As Brad Koldehoff finished his presentation, he explained that there are many groups and individuals to
thank for the completion of the four-year long excavation in East St. Louis along the alignment of relocated
I-70. The Federal Highway Administration, the project sponsor, ISAS staff, the Illinois Department of
Transportation District 8 staff, and tribal members from the Osage and Miami nations. Individuals who
worked on the project as part of the ISAS team include SIUE anthropology graduates Patrick Durst and
Kelly Arnold. It was the largest archaeological project in America during 2009-2012. Now, IDOT and ISAS
have many more years of lab analysis to complete before any
final results can be announced.
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