What is the Morton Village Site? Why did we choose to use it for our fellowship project?

Our project will be focused around a single archaeological site, Morton Village. The Morton Village site is a integrated Mississippian and Oneota habitation site, located in the Central Illinois River Valley, dating from around AD 1300 to 1400. Excavations at this site have taken place since the 1980s and current research at the site has been ongoing since 2008 through a joint project between Michigan State University and the Dickson Mounds Museum. We chose Morton Village as the focus for our fellowship because we both will use data from the Morton Village site for our dissertation research and we wanted our fellowship project to benefit the archaeological project.

What exactly is Mapping Morton Village?

Our project will be a stand alone, interactive cultural map, that will show several portions of the Morton Village archaeological site, allowing users to hover and click to learn about how archaeological sites are excavated, spatial archaeology, zooarchaeology, material culture (ceramics and lithics), lab protocols, and magnetometry. Continuing the project’s goal of engaging with the public, this project will allow individuals to experience and learn about the Morton Village site, several aspects of archaeology, and how they are used to inform about the past.


How will we create the map?

We will create the Mapping Morton Village page using frameworks we have learned about during our fellowship this semester, including mapping tools like mapbox.js. To create our map content, we will use geojson.io (a data standard for web maps), which is a tool that allows you to create a map with your content.


Who is the audience for Mapping Morton Village?

This digital cultural map will allow the public to take a closer look at what archaeology is, how this site has been excavated, and what can be learned from material culture. This map will also be a resource for midwestern archaeologists to learn more about the Morton Village site and excavation, and why it is significant for the region. We will use social media and the existing Morton Village website to grow our audience for the site.


What’s next for the Mapping Morton Village project?

The end of the semester is only a few weeks away and we have completed the planning stage for our project. Once the spring semester starts, we will begin building the Mapping Morton Village project. If anyone has any suggestions or comments please contact Nikki Silva at silvani1@msu.edu and Autumn Beyer at beyeraut@msu.edu!