Our 2015 field season started Sunday, June 14, when the ASU Field School, High School Field School, and REU students began to arrive in Kampsville.

This is what welcomed them:

Thunderstorm over the Illinois River, looking north from the Kampsville Ferry (click image to embiggen).

Rain and rising rivers were the themes of the week, thanks in part to Tropical Storm Bill. The Illinois State Climatologist reports

While it is difficult to separate out the rainfall exclusively from Tropical Storm Bill, this radar-estimated rainfall image of the past 7 days shows the pattern. Areas in yellow and red received at least 3 inches of rainfall. The widespread areas in red south of Interstate 70 received in the neighborhood of 6 to 8 inches of rain.

Rainfall, June 15-22 (borrowed from the IL Climatologist's site linked above)

Rainfall, June 15-22 (borrowed from the IL Climatologist’s site linked above)

June 2015 is the fifth wettest June…so far. Looks like we’re in for some more rain, too.

Kampsville weather forecast - June 23

Kampsville weather forecast – June 23 (click image to embiggen)

And of course, all of that rain has pushed the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers out of their banks.

Illinois River Levels at Hardin - 2015-06-23

Illinois River Levels at Hardin – 2015-06-23

Mississippi River Levels at Grafton - 2015-06-23

Mississippi River Levels at Grafton – 2015-06-23

Of course, we don’t need a river gauge to tell us it’s flooding!

Water on Hwy 100 - Sunday, June 21

Water on Hwy 100 – Sunday, June 21

Floodwater at the ASU Lab -  Sunday, June 21

Floodwater at the ASU Lab – Sunday, June 21

The boardwalk to the ASU Lab - Tuesday, June 23 (shamelessly stolen from Taylor Thornton's Instagram account)

The boardwalk to the ASU Lab – Tuesday, June 23 (shamelessly stolen from Taylor Thornton’s Instagram account)

Thankfully, the Illinois and the Mississippi Rivers have crested and (hopefully!) will be returning to their banks very soon.

The flood(s) kept us from accessing the Golden Eagle site and the Juicy site late last week. We’re excavating Golden Eagle (eventually) this year. We’d planned to conduct geophysical surveys at the Juicy site, but those plans have been cancelled for now.

On Monday (June 15), all CAA programs visited Golden Eagle and Juicy for site tours.

Jason King (Director of Research) leading a site tour of Golden Eagle.

Jason King (Director of Research) leading a site tour of Golden Eagle.

Students touring Golden Eagle

Students touring Golden Eagle

Students touring the Juicy site, also known as the Vasse site.

Students touring the Juicy site, also known as the Vasse site.

On Tuesday (June 16), the High School Field School opened units at Golden Eagle. The crew did a great job getting the units set up and removing the plowzone.

High School Field School (Week 1) students and Women in Archeology Interns at Golden Eagle - Tuesday, June 16 (front row, l-r: Laiza, Leah, Dena, Kayley, Kate, Olivia, Gretchen, April, Amanda, Rechanda; back row, l-r: Geoffrey, Kim, Collin, Valerie)

High School Field School (Week 1) students and Women in Archeology Interns at Golden Eagle – Tuesday, June 16 (front row, l-r: Laiza, Leah, Dena, Kayley, Kate, Olivia, Gretchen, April, Amanda, Rechanda; back row, l-r: Geoffrey, Kim, Collin, Valerie)

Unfortunately, the rain kept us out of the site for most of the week. The flood took care of the rest of the week.

High School Field School students washing artifacts

High School Field School students washing artifacts

We did a lot of lab work last week, though we did manage to fit in a trip to the Dickson Mounds Museum. This week we’re going to do some fieldwork at the Gardens of Kampsville site until the receding floodwaters allow us return to Golden Eagle.

The ASU geophysics crew finds the road to our sites blocked (l-r: Laura, Maggie, Matt, Shimaine, Emma, Abbie, Raquel, Dr. Duncan McKinnon in back, Dan in foreground, Taylor (not pictured)

The ASU geophysics crew finds the road to our sites blocked (l-r: Laura, Maggie, Matt, Shimaine, Emma, Abbie, Raquel, Dr. Duncan McKinnon in back, Dan in foreground, Taylor (not pictured)

The ASU geophysics field crew started work surveying the grounds of the historic Kamp Family home.

ASU field crew surveying the historic Kamp House grounds in Kampsville

ASU field crew surveying the historic Kamp House grounds in Kampsville

The crew also painted survey ropes during rainy periods in anticipation of data collection and clear skies.

Painting geophysical survey ropes for improved visibility  while waiting out the rain.

Painting geophysical survey ropes for improved visibility while waiting out the rain.

Despite everything, spirits remain high!

Is it raining again?!

Is it raining again?!

So, that’s the field season so far. Hopefully we’ll be able to get back into Golden Eagle next week and post some updates about our progress. We have units ready to go out there to investigate a segment of the embankment and some of the anomalies we detected during our geophysical survey in December 2013. We’ll have more about the site soon.

Also, stay tuned for an upcoming post about REU students’ activities.

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