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About CAI

The Center for Archaeological Investigations (CAI) is an independent research unit located within the College of Liberal Arts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Created in 1978 to undertake archaeological investigations previously supported to varying degrees by the Department of Anthropology and the University Museum, the CAI is a primary vehicle for conducting archaeological research at SIU Carbondale. We retain close ties to the Department of Anthropology and our projects provide research opportunities and employment for both graduate and undergraduate

The Center for Archaeological Investigations is committed to protecting and understanding the cultural patrimony of the Americas and to facilitating national and international archaeological research. To fulfill these goals, we undertake four major activities:

  • Research, funded by grant and contract agencies, in the American Midwest, Southeast and Mesoamerica.
  • Curation activities, which include the care and use of archaeological collections for research, student training, and public education.
  • Zooarch Labs
  • Public Outreach, actively engaged with the local and regional community of amateur and professional archaeologists, students and educators alike.
  • Publication of research results and the Visiting Scholar Conference proceedings.
  • The Visiting Scholar Program, which supports a postdoctoral fellow to pursue research, teaching, and writing at the CAI. (This program is currently on hiatus.)