Archaeologists and crew members from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey work at an East St. Louis dig site.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

A year-old fracas in the St. Louis Society has left the city’s archaeology community fractured. 

“What we’ve seen over the past year is a fragmenting of what used to be a really robust group here in town into smaller communities who are allied around the issues that they’re concerned about,” said Douglas Boin, assistant professor at Saint Louis University.

MoDOT archaeologists work at their most recent downtown excavation site.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

This story was originally published Aug. 9 and has been updated to include audio and photos from "St. Louis on the Air."

In late November 1922, in the Valley of the Kings across the Nile from Luxor, Egypt, British archaeologist Howard Carter, accompanied by his patron, the Earl of Carnarvon, knocked a tiny hole in what he believed was the door to the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamen. His assumption was correct. Carter peered through the aperture. Lord Carnarvon asked if he could see anything.

“Yes,” Carter said. “Wonderful things.”

Just shy of a century later, a young archaeologist named Michael Meyer and his crew are working near another river of legend, the Mississippi, the better to provide for posterity facts about the social and material history of the place in which we live.

Originally the Independent Brewing Company, this building was built in 1910. It falls within the planned stadium development, as do what may remain underground of the real St. Louis mounds and the Native American community that built them.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Plans for a new St. Louis football stadium seem to be moving ahead. Just last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called the stretch of riverfront near the Edward Jones Dome a “perfect” location for the new sports venue.

But it is also the site of an ancient Native American city — and that is raising concerns.

AIA website

Updated after the St. Louis Society vote -- In what one member called a “hotly divided” decision, the Archeological Institute of America - St. Louis Society narrowly voted Tuesday night to retain its board, even though that could allow the national organization to revoke the chapter’s charter.

The controversy stems from the local group’s sale of items it had owned for decades.

Archaeologists from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey dig at the former 1851 house site of Priscilla Baltimore in Brooklyn, Illinois.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Brooklyn, Ill., is a small, predominantly African-American town, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

What little revenue the town brings in comes mostly from strip clubs. But there’s more to Brooklyn than that.

Archaeologists from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey have been digging for evidence of Brooklyn’s pre-Civil-War past, trying to solve some of the mysteries about its origins.

Véronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, contains mounds constructed by an ancient Mississippian people. Recent archeological discoveries made as a result of construction of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge have highlighted the people who used to inhabit the area.

A group is now trying to bolster recognition of Cahokia and the rest of the mounds by gaining some type of national designation through the National Park Service.