The Morton Village Archaeological Project is collaborative effort between researchers at Michigan State University and Dickson Mounds Museum, aimed at understanding community life in the late prehistroric Central Ilinois River Valley. Since 2008, Dr. Jodie O’Gorman and Dr. Michael Conner have trained college students and volunteers in field excavation and laboratory analysis techniques. The archaeological field school model provides Dr. O’Gorman and Dr. Conner the opportunity to collect the data they need to answer their research questions while providing educational and hands-on opportunities for the next generation of archaeologists.
The Morton Village site is part of the Emiquon Nature Preserve, which is owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy. The deep involvement of both the Nature Conservancy and Illinois State Museum in the public outreach component of this research facilitates mutually beneficial interactions between archaeologists, field school participants, area residents, and visitors to the site.