CAGIS: Archaeological Consulting Services

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CAGIS: Archaeological Consulting Services provides full-service contract archaeological, geophysical and remote sensing, and GIS consulting to private individuals, business organizations, and government agencies. Fully licensed and insured, CAGIS offers comprehensive and cost-effective cultural resource management services. CAGIS uses state-of-the-art technology to address project-specific issues and our large pool of experienced university personnel allows us to respond in a timely, flexible, and cost-effective manner, avoiding project delays and minimizing costs. CAGIS specializes in the conduct of Phase I-III archaeological investigations including cell tower and antenna collocations, reviews, visual impact surveys, and wind farm developments. Historic cemetery management services are another of our specialties and include the detection of unmarked burials using ground-penetrating radar and magnetometer surveys.

For additional information please contact Thomas J. Loebel by phone (312) 413-8247 or by e-mail at Also see below.

To assist our clients in meeting their cultural resource management (CRM) compliance needs, we offer the following services:

CAGIS Archaeological Consulting Services, has recently assisted in the relocation of an unmarked burial of a Civil War Veteran for Kane County, joined with the Mount Prospect Police Department in the search for a cold case homicide victim, assisted the Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program in the relocation of the Old Millburn Burying Ground as part of the evaluation of alternative corridors for the

Highway 45 realignment in Lake County, located the unmarked burials of miners killed in the Cherry Mine disaster as part of the 100th anniversary commemoration, and—in advance of development—relocated the circa 1850's Aux Plaines Pioneer Cemetery in Cook County, and assisted in the negotiation of a preservation agreement between the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and a private developer.

Archaeological Services

CAGIS understands the intricacies of the federal and state cultural resource review process, and specializes in conducting all phases of cultural resource management from survey to mitigation in accordance with State and Federal Section 106 requirements in Illinois and the surrounding states.

Phase I - Phase I studies are usually the first step in the Section 106 compliance and review process. Consisting of archival records review, map searches, and field survey, Phase I studies are designed to gather information on the location, nature, and condition of any potential archaeological sites present within a project area.

Phase II - If sites of potential significance are identified within a project area, Phase II testing is conducted to determine whether or not a site meets the criteria for the National Register of Historic Places. Phase II work includes additional archival research and field-testing sufficient to provide documentation of eligibility status.

Remote Sensing

Our state-of-the-art remote sensing capabilities provide a non-invasive means of quickly mapping large areas. These near-surface surveys enable CAGIS to evaluate the nature and location of buried resources such as cultural features, piping, and underground storage tanks.

These low-profile reconnaissance studies surveys are undertaken utilizing our GSSI SIR-2000 ground penetrating radar with 400 Mhz antennae and Geometrics G858 Cesium Vapor and 19TGW Gemsys Proton Procession magnetic gradiometers. These high-resolution instruments provide CAGIS the ability to help our clients better plan excavation and avoidance strategies, particularly in sensitive areas.

Geographic Information Systems

Our experienced GIS personnel interpret archaeological data, engineering survey maps, and GPS data utilizing the latest technology including ArcView 3.2/3.3, ArcGIS 8.2/9.1, Workstation ArcInfo 8.3, Erdas Imagine 8.7, and Trimble Pathfinder GPS. By implementing GIS data analysis into a final comprehensive product, CAGIS provides our clients a decision support system to analyze project impacts and alternatives, saving time and money.

MicroWear Analyis Services

In conjunction with the UIC Department of Anthropology, CAGIS Archaeological Consulting Services offers contract microwear analysis services. Operated under the direction of Lawrence Keeley, PhD and Thomas Loebel, PhD, the lithic use-wear laboratory is equipped to conduct the specialized analysis of stone tools using high power microscopy (50x to 500x magnification). The technique is based on the work of Semenov (1966) who pioneered the use of high magnification to analyze tool edges for evidence of use-related polishes and striations. This approach was refined by Lawrence Keeley (1987), whose work with identifying surface polishes under high magnification allowed for both the action (e.g., cutting, scraping, sawing) and the material worked (e.g., hide, meat, wood, bone) to be accurately discriminated. With Mark Newcomer, Keeley used a series of experimental blind tests to evaluate the accuracy of his technique, thus setting a standard for all subsequent use-wear analysis. Other lithic analysts have adopted his methodology and approach to microwear analysis as the industry standard.

In 1995, Lawrence H. Keeley was awarded the SAA (Society for American Archaeology) Award for Excellence in Lithic Studies for his seminal contributions in lithic use-wear studies and his pioneering applications in high-power microscopy. Jointly, Keeley and Loebel have examined and analyzed stone tools from nearly all regions of the earth and from nearly every time period.

The UIC Department of Anthropology's high power lithic use-wear laboratory is equipped with two Olympus BHM metallurgical microscopes capable of magnifications from 50 to 500x. A Nikon Coolpix 995 digital camera allows for the capture of detailed images of use-wear from the microscope through a trinocular photo port attachment. The laboratory maintains an extensive reference collection of photomicrographs of use-wear examples and experimental tools produced using a variety of cherts.

Our experienced professional archaeologists know that the identification and evaluation of cultural resources early in the planning process is crucial to keeping your project on schedule and within budget. CAGIS offers cost-effective and comprehensive services to meet this challenge. CAGIS understands our client's business concerns and is committed to helping minimize the impact CRM has on your project, while ensuring compliance with State and Federal cultural resource management requirements.

Recent Clients:

  • St. Charles Township
  • Blackberry Township
  • Martin and Associates Environmental
  • Chamlin Engineering
  • Mt. Pleasant Police Department
  • SWCA Environmental Consultants
  • Lake Bluff School District 65
  • EcoEnergy, LLC
  • Boon Heritage Windfarm, LLC:

Contact Thomas J. Loebel, PhD, RPA, by phone (312) 413-8247 or by email at for a free consultation and no-obligation review of current proposals, a project specific bid, or for more information about our services.