Brian Butler | Anthropology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Brian Butler

Center for Archaeological Investigations, Emeritus

Center for Archaeological Investigations, Emeritus

I am an archaeologist with wide-ranging research interests in eastern North America. I am particularly concerned with the development of early horticultural societies and the subsequent “chiefdom” level Mississippian polities. I also have some specific interests in lithic technology and lithic resource utilization.

Research Interests

Geographically, my work has focused on the southern Midwest and Midsouth, particularly in southern Illinois and the lower Ohio Valley. I also pursue research in the islands of Micronesia in the western Pacific. I have done work in Palau and the Mariana Islands, but my efforts have chiefly focused on the Marianas where I have examined questions of initial settlement, coastal ecology and island adaptations, as well as ceramic technology.


  • Anth 201: Archaeology of Illinois
  • Anth 441B: Lithic Analysis
  • Anth 510: Seminar in Archeaology of North America (topics in the Archaeology of the Midwest and Midsouth)
  • Anth 522: Archaeology of Micronesia
  • Anth 581: Archaeology and the Historic Preservation System  



2009 Land Between the Rivers: The Archaic Period of Southernmost Illinois. In Archaic Societies of the Midcontinent, edited by T. E. Emerson, D. L. McElrath, and A. C. Fortier, pp. 608-634. SUNY Press, Albany.

2006 (Brian M. Butler and Paul W. Welch eds.) Leadership and Polity in Mississippian Society. Occasional Paper 33. Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

2002 (Charles R. Cobb and Brian M. Butler) The Vacant Quarter Revisited: Late Mississippian Abandonment of the Lower Ohio Valley. American Antiquity 67:625-642.

2001 (Brian M. Butler and Charles R. Cobb) The Dillow’s Ridge Site and the Production of Mill Creek Chert Tools. Illinois Archaeology 13:57-87.

2000 (Brian M. Butler and Mark J. Wagner) Land Between the Rivers: the Late Woodland of Southern-most Illinois. In Late Woodland Societies: Tradition and Transformation across the Midcontinent, edited by T. Emerson, D. McElrath, and A. Fortier, pp.685-711. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.

1991 Kincaid Revisited: The Mississippian Sequence in the Lower Ohio Valley. In Cahokia and the Hinterlands, edited by T. Emerson and B. Lewis, pp. 264-273. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.

1986 (Brian M. Butler and Richard Jefferies) Crab Orchard and Early Woodland Cultures in the Middle South. In Early Woodland Archaeology, edited by K. Farnsworth and T. Emerson, pp. 523-534. Center for American Archeology Press, Kampsville.


1995 Archaeological Investigations in the Achugao and Matansa Areas of Saipan, Mariana Islands. Micronesian Archaeological Survey Report No. 30. Division of Historic Preservation, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan.

1994 Early Prehistoric Settlement in the Mariana Islands, New Evidence from Saipan. Man and Culture in Oceania 10:15-38.

1992 An Archaeological Survey of Aguiguan (Aguijan), Mariana Islands . Micronesian Archaeological Survey Report No. 29. Division of Historic Preservation Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan.