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B. Jacob Skousen

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Western Illinois University


I am a North American archaeologist with research interests ranging from pilgrimage, religion, identity, landscapes, and movement. Most of my work focuses on Late Precontact cultures throughout the Midwest, with an emphasis on the Native American city of Cahokia in southwestern Illinois. My current research involves the intersection of place, movement, and identity. I’m particularly interested in how moving through, dwelling in, and modifying certain spaces, places, and landscapes shapes emotions, memories, identities, and relationships with the wider world. My overall goals as an archaeologist are to make archaeology accessible and beneficial to descendant groups and local communities, disseminate archaeological and historical knowledge, and demonstrate the importance of the past in the present.


  • Ph.D. (2016), Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.A. (2009), Department of Anthropology, Brigham Young University
  • B.A. (2006), Department of Anthropology, Brigham Young University

Courses Taught

I teach courses in Archaeology, Field and Laboratory Methods, North American Archaeology, Late Precontact Societies, Mississippian Period, Cahokia, Community Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management.

Additional Campus Affiliations

Research Associate Affiliate, Anthropology
Academic Hourly, Illinois State Archaeological Survey

Recent Publications

  • 2023. Elk Hunting and Community Building at Noble-Wieting. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (A. Stone, K. Kennedy, L. Miller, and J. Skousen) in preparation.
  • 2023 . A Critical Evaluation of UAS-Based Aerial Photography and Photogrammetry of Cahokia’s Grand Plaza. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 47. (J. Lambert and J. Skousen)
  • 2021. Questioning the Native American Population Rebound in the Horseshoe Lake Watershed from 1500-1700 AD. American Antiquity 86:199-202. (J. Skousen and M. Aiuvalasit)
  • 2021. Investigating Mississippian Landscapes, Places, and Identities through Geophysics. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 36. (J. Skousen and C. Friberg)
  • 2020. Allerton Park Before the Allertons. Illinois Archaeology 32:1-32. (B. Adams, J. Skousen, T. Emerson, and D. Esarey) (written and submitted in 2021, included in 2020 issue)