MARCH 2014


Our Next Meeting

Sunday, March 30, 2014
3:00 p.m. Social Hour and fellowship.
3:30 p.m. Presentation by our guest speaker,

“The Search, Discovery, and Investigation of Fort St. Joseph in Niles, Michigan: Archaeological Contributions to the

Early European Settlement of the Midwest.”

Dr. Michael Nassaney

Dr. Michael Nassaney’ s presentation was partially underwritten by

Ms. Jeanne Zasadil.

Evanston Public Library,

1703 Orrington Avenue

Evanston, Illinois

Guest speaker for March 2014, Dr. Michael S. Nassaney, will retrace a page from the European view of the history of the American frontier and will report on the Fort St. Joseph archaeological project.

Dr. Nassaney has directed the annual Western Michigan University archaeological field school at Fort St. Francis, now in its 34th year, since 1994.

In past years the CAS has been able to rediscover some of Chicago’s forgotten history, i.e. that of Fort Dearborn. But whatever remains of Chicago’s historical signature has been cemented or paved over and our scanty history is based on sketchy historical documents.

A short distance from Chicago and near to the south shore of Lake Michigan, Niles, Michigan

European settlement of the Midwest is best reconstructed through historical archaeology.  And archaeologists have rediscovered Fort St. Joseph.

Built in 1691 by the French the Fort passed through the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s Conspiracy, the American Revolution, and the Northwest Indian War and capture by a Spanish Expeditionary Force from St. Louis in 1781 for several hours!

Sometime during the early 19th Century the Fort was lost.

How one goes about losing a Fort is a mystery, but lost it was until pot-hunters discovered hundreds of artifacts that are now in the Fort St. Joseph Museum. The fort was rediscovered during an archaeological survey in 1998.

Dr. Nassaney’s research interests include historical archaeology and the study of colonialism and the fur trade in the western Great Lakes.

Dr. Nassaney contends that the early European settlement of the Midwest is best reconstructed through historical archaeology—a multidisciplinary approach that employs information from both documentary sources and material remains. For some research questions, documents are nearly mute, enhancing the importance of the archaeological record.

The fusion of archaeology and history is logical juxtapositioning of knowledge. The reader will be well rewarded by Dr. Nassaney’s introduction to his reconstruction of Fort St. Joseph.

For video information about Fort St. Joseph you can follow these You Tube links:

History of St. Joseph

Public Archaeology at Fort St. Joseph

Militia Muster at Fort St. Joseph

The Good Society: Sustainability among the Ancient Maya

What is a good society? How can it be sustained? Dr. Cynthia Robin brought the challenge to the February 2014 meeting of the Chicago Archaeological Society.

Politicians and philosophers have grappled with the challenge since the Golden Age of Greece. Plato believes that conflicting interests of different parts of society can be harmonized. The best, rational and righteous, political order, which he proposes, leads to a harmonious unity of society and allows each of its parts to flourish, but not at the expense of others. The theoretical design and practical implementation of such order, he argues, are impossible without virtue.

Of all the emerging cultures of a new world discovered by invading Europeans e.g., the Aztecs, the Incas the Mayas and countless others, it has been that of the Mayas that has captured the attention of many because of its seeming brilliance in mathematics, architecture and governance. But it was primarily astronomy that amazed admirers of the Maya, perhaps because astronomy, superior in so many ways to European understanding, transcended earthly delights.

Understanding of the Maya has been garnered from more than a century of archaeological exploration that summarized a civilization of philosopher kings and stargazers. It was all there. City state after city state, Tikal, Uxmal, Chichen Itza, was rediscovered. Bonampak, with represented only a part of the Maya

Using the less well known or understood city of Xunantunich in Belize as an example and the mostly unknown and smaller center of Chan, in the same region Dr. Cynthia Robin delivered a dramatic presentation that compared two sites in the development of her thesis of the constitution of a good society.

Dr. Robin supports her contention of sustainably of a good life with comparison of skeletal remains from Chan with similar remain Xunantunich. These remains indicate that the simpler life of Chan was the healthier life.
Since 2002, Robin has led an international team of researchers at the Chan site, a small civic center in the eastern Maya Lowlands. The Chan site was home to a tight-knit community of farmers who survived and thrived for roughly 2000 years as Maya kingdoms rose and fell around them.

A DVD copy of Dr. Robin’s presentation is available on loan from the CAS archives for CAS members.

A You Tube Tour of Xunantunich;


The Palimpsest

Bob Stelton; Editor

At the 2014 February Board meeting Board member Edith Castro-Young reported that the CAS was benefactor of a gift from Ay Ay Picante of the holiday dinner that graced our tables on December 5th. The dinner menu was a fusion of Peruvian and international cuisine.

As previously reported Ray Young and Edith with the help of other attendees worked a miracle of efficient serving that made the annual CAS party a rousing success.

In this edition of the Codex is information about Ay Ay Picante. Because Ay Ay Picante was the host of a CAS fundraiser several years ago many CAS mem- bers have already enjoyed visits to the restaurant. For the uninitiated a treat is waiting!

Few travelers to Peru neglect visiting the legendary Nasca Lines, one of the signature attractions of Peru; a representation painted on the wall is a Hummingbird line drawing of the Lines. Food at Ay Ay Picante, whether ceviche, lomo saltado or papa huancaina, is as authentically Peruvian as are the Nasca Lines!

For your Peruvian dining adventure

Ay Ay Picante

4569 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60630 Reservations:

  1. (773)427-4239

7 days 11:00 am – 10:30 pm

Your link with Ay Ay Picante via Check Please:

                       Your Invitation to a casual dinner with ....

Dr. Michael Nassaney

At Dave’s Italian Kitchen, after the meeting at 5:00 PM

You can keep up with archaeology events with these links:



Chicago Archaeological Society Online Codex:



March 28-29

Annual Midwest Mesoamericanist Meeting

Northern Illinois University is pleased to host the Annual Midwest Mesoamericanist Meeting. The conference will take place on Friday, March 28th and Saturday, March 29th, 2014. The meetings will open on Friday with a welcome address and keynote talk in the School of Art (Jack Arends Hall) followed an informal mixer at a local restaurant. The presentations will be held on Saturday in Cole Hall (Jameson Auditorium) with a celebratory reception to follow. The meeting is free and open to the public. The Midwest Mesoamericanist Meeting is sponsored by the NIU School of Art, Department of Anthropology, and the Anthropology Museum. Organizers of the conference are: Dr. Jeff Kowalski, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Jennifer Kirker-Priest, The Anthropology Museum, Dr. Winifred Creamer and Dr. Kerry Sagebiel, Department of Anthropology.

Northern Illinois University

Cole Hall Room 100

DeKalb, Illinois

Oriental Institute Exhibit

Oriental Institute, Special Exhibit Opening: April 7, 2014 to January 4, 2014:

“In Remembrance of Me: Feasting with the Dead in the Ancient Middle East.”

773 702-9514

For calendar items, please call Bob Stelton;


Inclusion deadline is the last Friday of the month

Oriental Institute, Breasted Hall

TEL: (630) 972-9090 e-mail:

Chicago Archaeology Society Online Codex




March 30, 2014

“Fort St. Joseph in

Western Michigan”

Dr. Michael S. Massaney

April 27, 2014

“New Developments At Bonampak”

Dr. Claudia Brittenham

May 18, 2014

“Archaeological Exploration at Aztalan”

Dr. Lynn Goldstein

September 28, 2014;

“The Ancient Maya”

Dr. J. Lucero

October 26, 2014

“World War II POW Camps.”

Mr. James Meierhoff

December 7, 2014

“Kingdom of Kush”

Dr. Bruce B. Williams

All Lectures (unless otherwise indicated) are at

The Evanston Public Library

1703 Orrington Avenue

Evanston, Illinois

(Always Plenty of Free Parking)

CAS Officers and Board         

President Raymond Young

Vice President

Lucy Kennedy

Secretary & Newsletter


Robert Stelton 


Michael Ruggeri

Director Judith Greene Director Peter Greene Director Jeanne Jesernik

Director Ronald Albiani Director Jean Dunkerley

Director Lynn Miller

Director Nancy Podwika

Director Kathy Pratt

Director Jeanne Zasadil

Director Jacqueline Leipold

Director Kendra Massey Director Doreen Stelton

Director Sandra Boots Director Sally Campbell Director Edward Lace Director Edith Castro-Young

Director Karen Memory Director David Zucker



Dr. Michael Nassaney