The Larson Site is a prehistoric archaeological site in Fulton County, near the city of Lewistown. The site was the location of a Mississippian town and was occupied during the 13th and 14th centuries; the town was one of seven major town sites in the central Illinois River valley and served as a social and economic center for surrounding villages and farms. The artifacts uncovered at the site have been well-preserved and include both organic remains and intact homes, providing significant archaeological evidence regarding the Mississippian way of life; the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 21, 1978
Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site
The Kincaid Mounds Historic Site c. 1050–1400 CE, is the site of a city from the prehistoric Mississippian culture. One of the largest settlements of the Mississippian culture, it was located at the southern tip of present-day U. S. state of Illinois. Kincaid Mounds has been notable for both its significant role in native North American prehistory and for the central role the site has played in the development of modern archaeological techniques; the site had at least 11 substructure platform mounds. Artifacts from the settlement link its major habitation and the construction of the mounds to the Mississippian period, but it was occupied earlier during the Woodland period; the site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964 for its significance as a major Native American mound center and prehistoric trading post along the Ohio River. Adjacent to the Ohio River, the site straddles the modern-day counties of Massac County and Pope County in deep southern Illinois, part of an area colloquially known as Little Egypt.
The Kincaid site was the subject of major excavations by the University of Chicago from 1934–1941, during which a number of anthropologists and archaeologists who had notable careers were trained under the direction of Fay-Cooper Cole. Exploration with new technology and excavations by teams from Southern Illinois University since 2003 have yielded significant new data; the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency owns and operates an area including several mounds in Massac County. This includes the majority of the estimated 141-acre area contained within a wooden palisade, as well as an undefined area of additional occupation to the west; the Pope County portion is owned. When the University of Chicago excavated Kincaid in the 1930s and 1940s, nine mounds were identified on the site's Massac County portion. In 2003, a tenth mound was identified. Chicago archaeologists excavated around this mound, but they chose to exclude it from their list of possible mounds due to a lack of clarity about its identity.
Identification of this portion of the site as an artificial earthwork came after Southern Illinois University returned to the site in 2003 to re-excavate the hills that were thought to be possible mounds. The Chicago excavators in the 1930s documented a prehistory in the Kincaid area stretching back thousands of years, into what is now known as the Archaic Period; the Chicago crew recognized this period as the Faulkner Component, described as a pre-pottery culture. Except for the lack of pottery, it was otherwise like the subsequent cultures of the Early Woodland, such as the Adena culture. Teams documented more intensive occupation in the ensuing Early Woodland and Middle Woodland periods, it was similar to the contemporaneous Adena and Hopewell cultures that began during this time period throughout eastern North America. This involved a more sedentary lifestyle, semi-agricultural culture characterized by the use of limestone-tempered ceramics and the presence of semi-permanent housing; the extensive occupation is chronologically classified as the Baumer phase.
The Baumer phase occupants of Kincaid used no Havana Hopewell culture motifs when decorating their pottery as did other Crab Orchard peoples but used cord and fabric marking. They preferred more limestone and grog tempering in their clay paste. Excavations prior to the construction of an informational kiosk and viewing platform in 2003 revealed six Baumer phase pit features dating to 250 BCE to 1 CE. One of the pits contained the intentionally buried remains of a small domestic dog, a rare find for the area. Occupation continued into the Late Woodland period; this period is known as the Lewis culture. The most notable occupation at Kincaid, however, is the Mississippian culture, which developed from the local Lewis community about 1050 CE. Kincaid was a near neighbor of Cahokia, only 140 miles away, is thought to have been influenced by its development as the major site of Mississippian culture; the people built at least 19 earthwork mounds during this period the characteristic Mississippian platform mounds.
Since 2003 teams from Southern Illinois University have been conducting more intensive research. A large central plaza, constructed by filling and leveling, was built at the center of the community. Although none of Kincaids earthworks rivals the size of Monks Mound at Cahokia, the largest is big by Mississippian standards and ranks 12th in size amongst all known Mississippian mounds; the site itself ranks 5th in size in number of mounds constructed at the site. The remaining platform mounds' heights range from 8 feet to 30 feet. Large buildings atop the main mounds seemed to indicate temples or council houses. Carved figurines in coal and fluorite seemed to characterize the local iconography, with images showing connections to the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. Trade for chert resources appeared to extend into Missouri and other parts of Illinois. Several examples of Mill Creek chert, which came from quarries near by, were found at the site. Mississippian culture pottery painted with a negative resist are characteristic of the site.
In the 1930s, the Chicago team excavated a major burial mound, Pope Mound 2, yielding further evidence for hierarchical social structures and Kincaid's status as a chiefdom. The mound contained a number of stone bo
Mound 72 is a small ridgetop mound located 850 meters to the south of Monks Mound at Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Illinois. Early in the site's history, the location began as a circle of 48 large wooden posts known as a "woodhenge"; the woodhenge was dismantled and a series of mortuary houses, platform mounds, mass burials and the ridgetop mound erected in its place. The mound was the location of the "beaded burial", an elaborate burial of an elite personage thought to have been one of the rulers of Cahokia, accompanied by the graves of several hundred retainers and sacrificial victims. Early in the history of Cahokia the portion of the site containing Mounds 72 and 96 was the location of a "woodhenge", a ceremonial area with a 412 feet in diameter circle of 48 upright wooden posts. Archaeologists date the placement of at least one of the posts to 950 CE. Archaeological research has shown that four of the posts were at the cardinal locations of north, south and west, the eastern and western posts marking the position of the equinox sunrise and sunsets.
Four other posts in the circle were shown to be at the summer solstice sunrise and sunset and the winter solstice sunrise and sunset positions. This setup is nearly identical to the diameter and post positions of Woodhenge III, one of five successive woodhenges built in another location at Cahokia, differing only in that Woodhenge III was 2 feet smaller in diameter. Considering the size of the circle and the fact that the post holes themselves could be as much as 1 metre in diameter, this discrepancy is negligible; the placement of the two mounds at the location and the directions in which they are oriented correspond to several of the solstice marking posts. The post nearest the elite burial of the "Birdman" is the location that marked the summer solstice sunrise at the times of the site's use; the early stages of the mounds were constructed around the posts, although at a point the posts were removed. Besides their celestial marking functions, the woodhenges carried religious and ritual meaning, reflected in their stylized depiction as a Cross in Circle Motif on ceremonial beakers connected with black drink ceremonialism.
One prominent example has markers added to sunset positions. Mound 72 is a ridgetop mound, one of only six recorded at the Cahokia site. Unlike the other ridgetop mounds which are aligned east/west and north/south, Mound 72 is aligned 30 degrees off the east/west line; this alignment is the same as the summer solstice sunrise/winter solstice sunset line for this latitude. Near the end of the late Emergent Mississippian Edelhardt Phase or the beginning of the early Mississippian Lohmann Phase two small platform mounds were constructed around several of the woodhenge posts, one of them the position marking the summer solstice sunrise position; these mounds were expanded and merged and covered over, being reshaped in the process into the final Mound 72 ridge-top mound. The beginnings of the mounds were the interment of several elite personages oriented to the summer solstice sunrise post; this post is aligned with the north/south axis with a point on the southwest corner of Monks Mound. The post had been replaced several times, including at least one episode after the beginning of mound construction.
5 metres west of the post was the burial of a tall man in his 40s, now thought to have been an important early Cahokian ruler. The body was placed with his feet to the northwest on an elevated platform covered by a bed of more than 20,000 marine-shell disc beads arranged in the shape of a falcon, with the bird's head appearing beneath and beside the man's head, its wings and tail beneath his arms and legs; this burial is now known as the "Beaded burial" or the "Birdman burial". Below the birdman was another man, buried facing downward; the birdman was buried with several other retainers and elaborate grave goods, including mica and other exotic minerals, copper sheathes thought to be the remains of copper covered chunkey sticks, a cache of chunkey stones and hundreds of finely made arrowheads collected from throughout the Mississippian world caches from Tennessee, southern Illinois, Wisconsin and a batch from the faraway Caddoan Mississippian peoples in Oklahoma. The arrowheads indicated that Cahokia had extensive trade links in North America.
The falcon warrior or "birdman" is a common motif in Mississippian culture, is represented by other finds at Cahokia in the form of 2 small stone tablets with avian-human imagery. This burial had powerful iconographic significance to the peoples of Cahokia. After the burial the location was covered over with Mound 72sub1, a small platform mound oriented in an east/west axis with a ramp projecting to the east and another projecting west toward the summer solstice sunset post; the summer sunrise post was located in the center of the eastern side of the mound. This mound was constructed over the remains of a dismantled charnel house, thought to have been erected at the same time as the woodhenge post which it is next to. Interred in the mound were 2 deceased men and several bundled burials the previous residents of the charnel house who had waited for the elite personages to die in order to be interred with them. Over this first phase a 46 feet square platform with two levels and ramp on its eastern side was constructed.
The next episode of construction at this location involved a pit being dug into the mound and a cache of various grave goods being deposited in it. A large rectangular pit was dug into the southeast corner of the mound and a mass burial of 24 women was m
The American Bottom is the flood plain of the Mississippi River in the Metro-East region of Southern Illinois, extending from Alton, south to the Kaskaskia River. It is sometimes called "American Bottoms"; the area is about 175 square miles protected from flooding in the 21st century by a levee and drainage canal system. Across the river from St. Louis, Missouri are industrial and urban areas, but many swamps and the major Horseshoe Lake are reminders of the Bottoms' riparian nature; this plain served as the center for the pre-Columbian Cahokia Mounds civilization, the French settlement of Illinois Country. Deforestation of the river banks in the 19th century to fuel steamboats had dramatic environmental effects in this region; the Mississippi River between St. Louis and the confluence with the Ohio River became wider and more shallow, as unstable banks collapsed into the water; this resulted in more severe flooding and lateral changes of the major channel, causing the destruction of several French colonial towns, such as Kaskaskia, which relocated.
The southern portion of the American Bottoms is agricultural, planted chiefly in corn and soybean. The American Bottom is part of the Mississippi Flyway used by migrating birds and has the greatest concentration of bird species in Illinois; the flood plain is bounded on the east by a nearly continuous, 200- to 300-foot high, 80-mile long bluff of limestone and dolomite, above which begins the great prairie that covers most of the state. The Mississippi River bounds the Bottom on its west, the river abuts the bluffline on the Missouri side. Portions of St. Clair, Madison and Randolph counties are in the American Bottom, its maximum width is about 9 miles in the north, it is about 2 to 3 miles in width throughout most of its southern extent. Before European settlement, the area was home to indigenous peoples for many centuries; the peak civilization was created by peoples of the Mississippian culture, known as the Mound Builders. With the cultivation of maize, they were able to create food surpluses and build concentrated settlements in the centuries after 600 CE.
The Cahokia Mounds Site, built as the center attracted a rapid increase in population after 1000 CE, is a six-square mile complex of large, man-made, earthen mounds rising from the flood plain. In 1982, it was designated by UNESCO as one of only eight World Heritage Sites in the United States; the most prominent structure is Monks Mound, rising ten stories high at the center of the complex and fronting on a 40-acre Grand Plaza. Monks Mound is the largest Pre-Columbian earthwork in the Americas, the complex is the largest earthwork north of Mexico; the engineering of the mounds showed that their builders had an expert knowledge of the varying soils and their capacities. Cahokia was a complex and designed urban center with a residential population and artisan production of refined crafts and goods. With its location at the confluence of three major rivers, it was the center of a regional trading network reaching to the Great Lakes and the Gulf Coast. With a population estimated at 30,000 at its peak, Cahokia was the largest city north of modern-day Mexico.
For ecological reasons—deforestation and overhunting—the city went into decline after 1300 and was abandoned before 1400. No city in the territorial United States surpassed this population until after 1800, when Philadelphia exceeded it. Archaeological investigation has determined that the various types of mounds were arranged in a planned construction that reflected the cosmology of the Mississippians; the smaller ridge-top and conical mounds were used for ritual burials, some for elites and some for apparent sacrifices. The larger platform mounds were used for homes of the elite. Archaeologists have found remains of a 2-mile long, defensive wooden stockade that enclosed the central precinct and was rebuilt several times, they discovered two major solar calendars, now known as Woodhenge, as the works were constructed of cedar, considered a sacred wood. The area surrounding the mounds had numerous borrow pits from which soil was taken to build the mounds and to fill and level the Grand Plaza and other plazas.
After Cahokia was abandoned, there were few indigenous inhabitants in the area in the 17th century at the time of first French exploration. The French made the earliest European settlement in this region of the Mississippi River Valley, they encountered Illiniwek clans called Cahokia, after whom they named the earthwork complex, Kaskaskia, after whom the French named a river and town. The French villages included Kaskaskia, Prairie du Rocher, St. Philippe, Prairie du Pont. Examples of 18th-century French Colonial architecture survive here, including the old Cahokia courthouse and Holy Family Catholic Church, both made with the distinctive vertical-log construction known as poteaux-sur-solle. American settlers began arriving near the end of the American Revolution after the Illinois Country was ceded by Great Britain to the new United States. In the early years, American single men came to the country, there was little government and much anarchy; as Americans arrived, many residents of French descent moved west of the Mississippi River to St. Louis and Ste.
Genevieve, Missouri. Within several years, the former French colonial towns had become American in population, English dominated as the language; the Goshen Settlement was an early American settlement at the edge of the Bottom. The settlers continued to use the rich alluvial floodplain for agriculture until the late 19th century. Brooklyn, Illinois was founded by 1839 as a freedom villa
Wickliffe Mounds is a prehistoric, Mississippian culture archaeological site located in Ballard County, just outside the town of Wickliffe, about 3 miles from the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Archaeological investigations have linked the site with others along the Ohio River in Illinois and Kentucky as part of the Angel Phase of Mississippian culture. Wickliffe Mounds is controlled by the State Parks Service, which operates a museum at the site for interpretation of the ancient community. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is a Kentucky Archeological Landmark and State Historic Site; the town at Wickliffe Mounds is located on a bluff above the Ohio River, was both a ceremonial and administrative center of an important chiefdom in the Mississippian culture. At its peak it had a population reaching into the hundreds; the site is dominated by two large platform mounds, with at least eight smaller mounds scattered around a central plaza area. Agriculture was based on the cultivation of maize as a staple, stored and supported denser populations and stratification of society.
The Mississippian culture peoples had trade with societies as far away as North Carolina and the Gulf of Mexico. As in most other Mississippian chiefdoms, the community of Wickliffe had a social hierarchy ruled by a hereditary chief; the site was inhabited between 1000 CE and 1350 CE. When Wickliffe began to be abandoned around 1300, the population had been relocating to the Twin Mounds Site, several miles to the northeast near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Amateur and semi-professional excavations first began in the site around 1913 and continued sporadically for several decades. In 1932, Fain W. King, a lumberman, amateur archaeologist, Indian artifact collector from Paducah, a member of the Board of Regents of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, Tuscaloosa requested and paid for the Alabama Museum archaeology staff to conduct the excavations of the center portions of three mounds at the Wickliffe site including the cemetery, Mound C; the excavations were done under the direction of Dr. Walter B, Alabama State Geologist, David L. DeJarnette, the crew chief.
The first publicity flyer about the excavations was co-authored by TMN Lewis and Fain King and the first two separate journal articles about the excavations by each author said the work was undertaken as both a scientific and educational enterprise through which the public was enabled to examine a page of unwritten history. To defray the cost of operating the site a one dollar admission was charged for the one hour guided tour during the King era. In cooperation with his wife, Blanche Busey King, he opened the site for tourists under the name "Ancient Buried City"; the Kings' venture was controversial because they used sensational and misleading advertising, altered the site to make it more visually appealing, made dubious and exaggerated interpretations of the site. These actions put them directly in opposition to professional archaeologists who studied the site and did not want it disturbed; the Kings deeded the site to the Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah in 1946, that agreed to pay them a monthly stipend until both of their deaths.
The hospital continued to operate the site as a tourism business until 1983 the year Mrs. King died; that year the hospital donated the site to Murray State University, to be used for research and training students. In 1984 the site's historic importance was recognized and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2004, the site became the 11th State Historical Site of Kentucky and entered the control of the Kentucky State Parks. In addition to the freestanding Mound A, the major ceremonial mound, the museum park encloses three excavated mounds with archaeological features, to aid in their interpretation for visitors, it displays the outstanding collection of pottery and artifacts excavated on site. A mural with a birds-eye view of the Mississippian village on the bluff shows how the entire complex would have looked. Ceremonial Mound was the location of ceremonial structures; this would have been religious center of the community. Excavated in 1932 and in 1984–85, it has been determined that there are six phases of development.
The Architecture Building covers a mound, residential. You can see several layers of habitation revealed in this cut-away mound; this mound was built up over 200 years. Inside, visitors can look into the layers of this mound, it shows the evidence which archeologists used to identify this as a residential area, such as the layers of charred materials from cooking fires and the postholes for the poles that held the wattle and daub siding. The Cemetery Building covers the area used as the community's burial ground. Native American practices prohibit the display of the dead; the original remains were reinterred and artificial skeletons were placed to show the original burials. The exterior of the excavation has curtains with traditional designs to cover those remains that could not be removed; the burials are from the 13th century. They included many infants, as well as people with identifiable medical problems, including arthritis and various injuries; the Lifeways Building is the excavation of an early village/residential portion of the community.
The early homes were replaced by an elongated mound. The excavation shows the arrangement including numerous infant burials. In the lower Ohio River valley in Illinois and Indiana, the Mississippian-culture towns of Kincaid, Wickliffe and Angel Moun
Dogtooth Bend Mounds and Village Site
Dogtooth Bend Mounds and Village Site is an archaeological site located on the western shore of Lake Milligan in Alexander County, Illinois. The site includes a village site stretching northwest of the mounds; the village was inhabited by Middle Mississippian peoples from 900-1600 A. D, it served as a trade hub and a social center for residents of the surrounding farmland. Formal archaeological investigation of the site was initiated in 1950 by Irvin Peithman of Southern Illinois University; the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 23, 1978. List of archaeological sites on the National Register of Historic Places in Illinois
The Great Lakes called the Laurentian Great Lakes and the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes in the upper mid-east region of North America, on the Canada–United States border, which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. They consist of Lakes Superior, Huron and Ontario, although hydrologically, there are four lakes, Erie and Michigan-Huron; the connected lakes form the Great Lakes Waterway. The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total area, second-largest by total volume, containing 21% of the world's surface fresh water by volume; the total surface is 94,250 square miles, the total volume is 5,439 cubic miles less than the volume of Lake Baikal. Due to their sea-like characteristics the five Great Lakes have long been referred to as inland seas. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world by area, the largest freshwater lake by area. Lake Michigan is the largest lake, within one country.
The Great Lakes began to form at the end of the last glacial period around 14,000 years ago, as retreating ice sheets exposed the basins they had carved into the land which filled with meltwater. The lakes have been a major source for transportation, migration and fishing, serving as a habitat to a large number of aquatic species in a region with much biodiversity; the surrounding region is called the Great Lakes region. Though the five lakes lie in separate basins, they form a single interconnected body of fresh water, within the Great Lakes Basin, they form a chain connecting the east-central interior of North America to the Atlantic Ocean. From the interior to the outlet at the Saint Lawrence River, water flows from Superior to Huron and Michigan, southward to Erie, northward to Lake Ontario; the lakes drain a large watershed via many rivers, are studded with 35,000 islands. There are several thousand smaller lakes called "inland lakes," within the basin; the surface area of the five primary lakes combined is equal to the size of the United Kingdom, while the surface area of the entire basin is about the size of the UK and France combined.
Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes, within the United States. The lakes are divided among the jurisdictions of the Canadian province of Ontario and the U. S. states of Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio and New York. Both Ontario and Michigan include in their boundaries portions of four of the lakes: Ontario does not border Lake Michigan, Michigan does not border Lake Ontario. New York and Wisconsin's jurisdictions extend into two lakes, each of the remaining states into one of the lakes; as the surfaces of Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie are all the same elevation above sea level, while Lake Ontario is lower, because the Niagara Escarpment precludes all natural navigation, the four upper lakes are called the "upper great lakes". This designation, however, is not universal; those living on the shore of Lake Superior refer to all the other lakes as "the lower lakes", because they are farther south. Sailors of bulk freighters transferring cargoes from Lake Superior and northern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to ports on Lake Erie or Ontario refer to the latter as the lower lakes and Lakes Michigan and Superior as the upper lakes.
This corresponds to thinking of Lakes Erie and Ontario as "down south" and the others as "up north". Vessels sailing north on Lake Michigan are considered "upbound" though they are sailing toward its effluent current; the Chicago River and Calumet River systems connect the Great Lakes Basin to the Mississippi River System through man-made alterations and canals. The St. Marys River, including the Soo Locks, connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron; the Straits of Mackinac connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. The St. Clair River connects Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair; the Detroit River connects Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie; the Niagara River, including Niagara Falls, connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The Welland Canal, bypassing the Falls, connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario; the Saint Lawrence River and the Saint Lawrence Seaway connect Lake Ontario to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which connects to the Atlantic Ocean. Lakes Huron and Michigan are sometimes considered a single lake, called Lake Michigan–Huron, because they are one hydrological body of water connected by the Straits of Mackinac.
The straits are 120 feet deep. Lake Nipigon, connected to Lake Superior by the Nipigon River, is surrounded by sill-like formations of mafic and ultramafic igneous rock hundreds of meters high; the lake lies in the Nipigon Embayment, a failed arm of the triple junction in the Midcontinent Rift System event, estimated at 1,109 million years ago. Green Bay is an arm of Lake Michigan, along the south coast of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the east coast of Wisconsin, it is separated from the rest of the lake by the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin, the Garden Peninsula in Michigan, the chain of islands between