Archaeological Casting
Joe Krauskopf

Mr. Peter Bostrom of Troy, Illinois is known world-wide for his archaeological castings. He is a leader in his field and proves it through expert work. He has been asked to make replicas of a wide range of items including: various plant fibers, stone tools from ancient cultures all over the world, and even some Bigfoot prints from the West Coast of the United States. Because he is so well known, he is forced to turn many projects down due to lack of time. One project that he has worked on was the excavation of a site in North Dakota where Clovis artifacts were found. A project he is currently working on is the formation of the International Lithics Institute. A Board of Directors has been formed to set standards for the casting of archeological, historical, and cultural findings.

The casting process can prove to be complex and time consuming. Once the artifacts are removed from the earth, they are carefully cleaned, so as not to damage them. Then they are sent to the caster, who may clean them further to enhance the appearance of the mold and improve analysis by experts. the artifact is then covered with an epoxy resin and set aside as the mold dries. Once the mold has finished drying, the newly formed mold is cut away from the artifact and then is put back together to form a two piece mold. Now that the mold has been made, the replica can be started. Various clays are used as the basis for the mixture that will become the replica. Basic raw pigments are ground into the clay and then pigmented clay is packed into the mold. They are then baked at 100 degrees. The now hardened replica looks almost exactly like the artifact. They are identical in shape, size, and form; however, they only differ in that the pigments could be in different concentrations at different areas along the artifact and replica.

The reproduction of artifacts is very important to the study of past civilizations. Due to laws in effect today, some of the items must be buried again within a few days. This is done out of respect to ancestors and their descendants. Once the replicas are made it does not matter if the originals are reinterred. Another positive feature to casting is that more than one replica can be made, meaning that replicas can be sent all over the world to everyone who wants them for study. Mr. Bostrom also keeps some replicas for himself. He has a vast collection of replicas representing cultures all over the world. East holds the story of its past and gives a few new clues to the answers of our ancestries.

Mr. Bostrom also creates high-quality posters of pre-Columbian artifacts complete with item-by-item information in an accompanying brochure. You may purchase posters from Mr. Bostrom by writing him at 577 Troy-O'Fallon Road, Troy, Illinois 62294. These provide a valuable aid to personal or classroom knowledge about our ancients. For a look at one of his posters.

Mr. Bostrom has also been involved in the study of mysterious crop circles that have appeared south of our high school. Crop circles like the ones that have appeared in Great Britain, exist south of Troy and south of Cahokia, Illinois. For a look at some of the circles.

Mr. Bostrom has studied artifacts of Clovis origin that have appeared in our area. The Clovis people were nomadic hunters and gatherers that roamed the Midwest. They were generally healthier than cultures that followed them. This fact can be explained. Since Clovis people were nomadic hunters and gatherers, they were in good physical shape. People often think that agriculture was a monumental discovery which allowed cultures to feed large populations. this thought might have been true if more than a few staple crops were produced. Since the Clovis people gathered, they ate many different types of food, while agricultural cultures ate mainly corn and squash and had an unbalanced diet. The exercise along with the rounded diet helped Clovis people to create healthy, active societies.
Mr. Bostrom's current project, the formation of the International Lithics Institute and a warehouse to store castings, has high goals. The Board of Directors is a panel of many world renowned archaeologists who will set standards for the proper protocol on what actions to take and when to take them, concerning the excavation and preservation of archaeological sites around the world.

Return to the Illinois Research Project