Research Reports

Research Reports

RR 50: Orendorf Settlement DVol. 50: Orendorf Settlement D: A Burned Fortified Mississippian Town in the Central Illinois River Valley

Edited by Lawrence A. Conrad, Kjersti E. Emerson, Thomas E. Emerson, and Duane E. Esarey with contributions by Dana N. Bardolph, Brenda A. Beck, Amanda J. Butler, Jamie M. Cater, Lawrence A. Conrad, Kjersti E. Emerson, Thomas E. Emerson, Duane E. Esarey, Madeleine G. Evans, Bee Geiger, Kristin M. Hedman, Steven R. Kuehn, Mallory A. Melton, Kimberley A. Schaefer, Mary L. Simon, Adam A. Tufano, Amber M. VanDerwarker, Gregory D. Wilson, and Alexey Zelin

2020, 574 pp., full-color photos and figures, references, online downladable appendices

This volume presents a comprehensive analysis of a catastrophically burned, thirteenth-century Spoon River Mississippian palisaded town in the central Illinois River valley. During its occupation Orendorf Settlement D underwent multiple expansions, as well as changes in the community, ritual, and elite structures. Salvage excavations by a group of dedicated volunteers and the Upper Mississippi Valley Archaeological Research Foundation (UMVARF) revealed large community or civic buildings, rotundas, a cruciform temple structure, and dozens of rectangular wall-trench domestic structures surrounding a central plaza. The intact artifact assemblages found on the burned structure floors, described and illustrated in detail in this volume, provide a rare glimpse into Orendorf phase daily life and practices in the Cahokia hinterlands.



RR 49: The Broglio SiteVol. 49: The Broglio Site: A Late Middle Archaic Habitation and Mortuary Site in the Big Muddy Watershed


Edited by Michael Brent Lansdell with contributions by Steven L. Boles, Aimée E. Carbaugh, Jenna Ely, Matthew Fort, Eve A. Hargrave, Amanda Headley, Kristen M. Hedman, Mary King, Laura Kozuch, Steven R. Kuehn, and Michael Brent Lansdell

2018, 168 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The Broglio site is located on a small terrace adjacent to Illinois Route 2 where it crosses an unnamed creek just east of the town of Herrin, Illinois. Broglio is a multicomponent site with artifacts representative of an Early Archaic through Mississippian occupation. This report documents the late Middle Archaic mortuary and habitation component with detailed Archaic feature descriptions, lithic, human remains, plant, and faunal analysis, and a discussion of the Broglio site as it compares to other sites from this same time period, particularly in southern Illinois and the Ohio River valley.



East St. Louis Precinct Terminal Late Woodland FeaturesVol. 46: East St. Louis Precinct Terminal Late Woodland Features


Edited by Alleen Betzenhauser with contributions by Alleen Betzenhauser, Daniel F. Blodgett, Tamira K. Brennan, Douglas K. Jackson, Craig H. Kitchen, Victoria E. Potter, Wendy Munson Scullin, and Michael Scullin

2018, 350 pp., full-color pictures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices


The investigations at East St. Louis conducted by Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) for the New Mississippi River Bridge (NMRB) project provided an unprecedented amount of information concerning Terminal Late Woodland (TLW) habitation in the American Bottom. Prior to the NMRB project, the ideas concerning this time period in Illinois history developed from a handful of excavations conducted at Cahokia and at multiple sites as part of the FAI-270 project.

The data presented here demonstrate that East St. Louis was an important place before the Mississippian period, beginning with the initial TLW I occupation when only a few families settled near Cahokia Creek. From these humble beginnings, a village flourished and ultimately was composed of hundreds of people living in a dense concentration of courtyard groups. Residents of some courtyard groups were more intimately connected with nonlocal people or included artisans who produced specialized pottery, fiber, or other goods. Within a few short decades, this village became one precinct of an expansive Mississippian city. The insights gained from the East St. Louis Precinct investigations reported here and in other volumes in this series have transformed our understanding of the dynamic interactions that resulted in this early urbanization and add greatly to our understanding of Terminal Late Woodland and Mississippian history in the region.


RR 45 ESTL Mississippian CeramicsVol. 45: East St. Louis Precinct Mississippian Ceramics


Edited by Tamira Brennan, Michael Brent Lansdell, and Alleen Betzenhauser with contributions by Alleen M. Betzenhauser, Tamira K. Brennan, Sarah E. Harken, Michael Brent Lansdell, and Victoria E. Potter

2019, 712 pp., full-color pictures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

This volume is a companion to East St. Louis Precinct Terminal Late Woodland Ceramics (Research Report Vol. 42) which reports all ceramics recovered from Terminal Late Woodland features and features that could be assigned no more specific a component than the Terminal Late Woodland to Mississippian span. Together, these volumes provide a robust sample that better defines American Bottom ceramics for the time periods in question.

Chapter 2 outlines the methods used for these analyses. Chapters 3–5 cover the burned clay, body sherds, ceramic objects, and vessels recovered from Lohmann, Stirling, and Moorehead features. Each chapter touches on the depositional patterning and activities within the phase, as well as presents a brief comparison of the East St. Louis assemblage to others within the region. Chapter 6 concerns ceramic items from features that could be refined no further than to the early or general Mississippian (Lohmann–Moorehead) period, and Chapter 7 is a discussion and summary interpretation of the results. Ceramics recovered from nonfeature contexts are reported in Appendix C.

The results of the NMRB project represent the largest ceramic assemblage ever analyzed in the region, which consists of a conservative estimate of over 14,000 unique Mississippian vessels. This unusually large data set’s robust nature allows us to confidently provide ranges and means for various quantitative aspects of the subsamples within it and to explore these data for the potential of previously unknown chronologically sensitive or correlated traits. They also permit us to track changes in Mississippian potting practices through time at a single urban location, thereby informing on practices throughout the region through comparison. These changes reflect and may have encouraged shifts in the social and ideological fabric of the region and are, therefore, key to better understanding how Greater Cahokia formed and faded.

RR 44: NMRB History of InvestigationsVol. 44: The New Mississippi River Bridge Archaeological Project: Research Design, Methods, and History of Investigations


By Joseph M. Galloy

2018, 208 pp., full-color pictures, tables, references, online downloadable appendix

From 2008 to 2012, Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) personnel performed archaeological investigations for the New Mississippi River Bridge project in East St. Louis and Fairmont City, St. Clair County, Illinois. This undertaking by the Illinois Department of Transportation included a new bridge, interstate connector, interchange construction, and local road improvements. An impact area of 82.9 ha of Mississippi River floodplain was surveyed, tested and subjected to data recovery investigations following Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Nine archaeological sites were affected, and mechanical excavations revealed a total of 6,434 prehistoric and 297 historic features. ISAS crews manually excavated nearly all of them. Data recovery investigations were performed at three sites: East St. Louis Precinct (11S706), Old Eighth Street (11S1790), and Mary B. Young (1S1817). The latter two sites were inhabited from circa AD 1870 to 1930 and represent portions of East St. Louis neighborhoods. Occupations at the East St. Louis Precinct, a 290 ha civic-ceremonial precinct of Greater Cahokia, dated from circa AD 950 to 1225. This volume summarizes the project’s research design, field and laboratory methods, and history of investigations for the sites and the project. It concludes with an evaluation of the project results.

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RR 43: ESTL Precinct Mississippian FeaturesVol. 43: East St. Louis Precinct Mississippian Features


Edited by Tamira K. Brennan with contributions by Alleen M. Betzenhauser, Daniel F. Blodgett, Tamira K. Brennan, Lenna M. Nash, Luke A. Plocher, and Victoria E. Potter

2018, 410 pp., full-color pictures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The American Bottom and its associated uplands were home to the largest and most populous Mississippian period (AD 1050–1400) center ever to exist in North America. This complex, Greater Cahokia, consisted of the Cahokia, East St. Louis, and St. Louis precincts, all major mound complexes with intense habitation, as well as the many smaller interspersed mound, village, and farmstead sites whose inhabitants shared a rich and interconnected religious and political life. Previous large-scale projects and targeted investigations at the Cahokia Precinct provided a wealth of data on the developmental history and ultimate decline of Mississippian culture in the region. The results of the 2008–2012 investigations at the East St. Louis Precinct for the construction of the New Mississippi River Bridge (NMRB) add greatly to it.

This NMRB archaeological project uncovered approximately 4% (11.5 ha) of the 290 ha site, resulting in the exposure of a total of 6,435 precolumbian features spanning the Terminal Late Woodland (TLW) to Mississippian periods. Pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the potential adverse effects to the site were mitigated through data-recovery excavations. These revealed the region’s largest recorded TLW settlement (reported in Betzenhauser 2018) and an even larger Mississippian one that developed, in part, from it but also far exceeded it in size, complexity, and its ability to draw diverse peoples to a single place in order to participate in novel lifeways and religion. This latter Mississippian occupation is covered in this volume, which presents qualitative and quantitative data on and initial interpretations of the 3,998 features at East St. Louis that span the Lohmann to early Moorehead phases (AD 1050–1225). The results of the NMRB project lend insight into how social, religious, and political life was structured and changed through time as “Cahokian Mississippian” waxed and waned. The insights from this project have transformed our understanding of regional culture history and the dynamic interactions that resulted in a new kind of community at the advent of the Mississippian period.

RR 42: ESTL Precinct Terminal Late Woodland CeramicsVol. 42: East St. Louis Precinct Terminal Late Woodland Ceramics


Edited by Alleen Betzenhauser with contributions by Alleen Betzenhauser, Tamira K. Brennan, Michael Brent Lansdell, Sarah E. Harken, and Victoria E. Potter

2018, 398 pp., full-color pictures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

This report is one in a series detailing the results of the New Mississippi River Bridge Project (NMRB) 2008–2012 field investigations at the East St. Louis Precinct (11S706) and the subsequent laboratory analyses of the recovered material remains. The project was initiated in 2008 when testing began for the proposed new four-lane span across the Mississippi River, now referred to as the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. The joint effort included the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, an adverse effect to the East St. Louis Precinct resulting from the NMRB project was mitigated through data-recovery excavations completed by Illinois State Archaeological Survey personnel. These efforts generated new and important information about precolumbian developments in the region, including, but not limited to, the evidence for extensive habitation extending from the Terminal Late Woodland period into the Moorehead phase of the Mississippian period (AD 900–1250).

In this volume, we describe and quantify the ceramic materials from Terminal Late Woodland features located in Tracts 4 and 5 of the East St. Louis Precinct. The results of this analysis contribute to a better understanding of the pre-Mississippian history of the site and indicate the Terminal Late Woodland residents of East St. Louis were engaged in a variety of practices with both local and nonlocal contemporaries. The existence of localized potting traditions and on-site pottery production are confirmed. Aspects of the assemblage provide direct and indirect evidence for year-round occupations, the processing of maize using stumpware, religious beliefs and practices, and feasting events. Hints of craft specialization and status differentiation among courtyard groups are also revealed. In concert with a subsequent volume describing the Mississippian assemblages, these reports provide valuable quantitative and qualitative data concerning diversity within and changes to pottery production, use, and discard during precolumbian times at one of the largest Terminal Late Woodland and Mississippian settlements.

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Research Report 41: East St. Louis Precinct LithicsVol. 41: East St. Louis Precinct Terminal Late Woodland and Mississippian Lithics


Edited by Steven L. Boles with contributions by Steven L. Boles, H. Blaine Ensor, Matthew S. Holschen, Craig A. Kitchen, and Anna I. Poling

2018, 404 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

This volume details the lithic assemblage recovered from recent investigations of the East St. Louis Mound Precinct (11S706) by the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS). Data recovery investigations from fall 2008 through fall 2012 were prompted by the construction of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, linking East St. Louis with St. Louis, the relocation of I-70, the widening of Exchange Avenue, and upgrades to utilities within the ROW. Because the proposed project would adversely affect the site, and pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, data-recovery investigations were undertaken to mitigate the adverse impact.

The lithic assemblage recovered from the New Mississippi River Bridge (NMRB) archaeological project totals nearly half of a million items, with a weight of close to nine metric tons (n = 490,468; wt = 8,117 kg). The material was recovered from the excavation of over 6,000 features dating from the Terminal Late Woodland through Mississippian phases (ca. AD 900–1225). These investigations provided an unprecedented opportunity to examine a vast lithic assemblage from a large Mississippian mound center and its pre-Mississippian occupation. Analysis of the assemblage has refined some notions about these cultural periods and at the same time provided novel discoveries that challenge long-held beliefs regarding cultural complexity, resource procurement, and crafting during this time.

Research Report 40: Hoxie MOAVol. 40: The Hoxie Farm Site Main Occupation Area: Late Fisher and Huber Phase Components in South Chicago


Edited by Douglas K. Jackson with contributions by Brenda E. Beck, Rosemarie Blewitt, Amanda J. Butler, Stephanie Daniels, Laure Dussubieux, Kathleen L. Ehrhardt, Kjersti E. Emerson, Thomas E. Emerson, Madeleine G. Evans, Matthew A. Fort, Eve A. Hargrave, Kristin M. Hedman, Douglas K. Jackson, Mary M. King, Steven R. Kuehn, and Terrance J. Martin

2017, 592 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The Hoxie Farm site is located along Thorn Creek in the south suburban Chicago area. The site is large and multicomponent and primarily associate with Upper Mississippian late Fisher and early Huber phases. The Main Occupation Area (MOA) contains the site’s densest concentration of features and material (a previous volume, Research Report #27 The Hoxie Farm Site Fortified Village: Late Fisher Phase Occupation and Fortification in South Chicago, Second Edition detailed the Fortified Village results). Excavations in within the MOA found artifact-rich midden deposits and 1,509 prehistoric features. Notably, the MOA excavations produced the largest collection of copper-base metal artifacts (270) from any Native American site reported in the Chicago area.

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RR Volume 39Vol. 39: The Kane Village Site: A Terminal Late Woodland Habitation in Madison County, Illinois


Edited by Brad H. Koldehoff and Charles R. Moffat with contributions by Brad H. Koldehoff, Charles R. Moffat, Mary L. Simon, K. Shane Vanderford, and Alexey Zelin

2016, 278 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The Kane Village site (11MS52) has played an important role in the advancement of American Bottom archaeology, particularly regarding notions about the timing and character of pre-Mississippian developments. This site was a Terminal Late Woodland (Emergent Mississippian) habitation area that was periodically investigated by archaeologists from the early 1960s to 1999. While Kane Village was briefly visited by Archaic, Early Woodland, and Middle Woodland groups, who left behind a few stone tools, no evidence of Late Woodland occupations prior to the Loyd and Merrell phases were documented. Moreover, no evidence of later TLW or Mississippian occupations were uncovered. This bluff-top ridge was intensively occupied only during the Loyd and Merrell phases. Thus, the ceramic, lithic, and subsistence data presented here represent a clear picture of everyday village life during these phases. The main body of this report focuses on the 1999 ISAS borrow pit excavations while the appendices add the 1963 ISM highway salvage excavations for comparison discussion. Combined, the new data clarifies the cultural components at the site.

RR Volume 38Vol. 38: The Tree Row Site: A Late Archaic Habitation and Mortuary Site in the Central Illinois Valley


Edited by Dale L. McElrath and Madeleine G. Evans with contributions by Stanley H. Ambrose, Madeleine G. Evans, Matthew A. Fort, Eve A. Hargrave, Kristin M. Hedman, Steven R. Kuehn, Dale L. McElrath, Michael C. Meinkoth, Mary L. Simon, and Jolee A. West

2016, 274 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The Tree Row site, excavated 25 years ago, is a significant Archaic mortuary site. This volume helps further the understanding of the archaeological record in Illinois. Tree Row is a multicomponent site representing habitations dating to at least four distinct cultural periods spanning roughly 6,000 years. This volume focuses the Archaic period remains and occupations. These investigations document one of the most comprehensively excavated and analyzed Archaic habitation and cemetery settlements thus far in Illinois. The theoretical concerns emerging from this report may eventually require a comprehensive reevaluation of subsistence practices, settlement systems, and social interactions from 4000 BC to 2000 BC. The diversity in tool assemblage, the suite of plants and animal resources exploited, the number of individual interred, and the apparent longevity of this settlement have caused the authors to question the hunter-gatherer modeling that has served as the framework for discussing Archaic developments in the Eastern Woodlands for the last several decades.

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RR Volume 37Vol. 37: A Multicomponent Late Woodland Complex at the Vasey Site in the Northern American Bottom Uplands


Edited by Andrew C. Fortier with contributions by Brenda E. Beck, Madeleine G. Evans, Andrew C. Fortier, Steven R. Kuehn, Kathryn E. Parker, and Alexey Zelin

2015, 192 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The Vasey site is situated in the northern American Bottom uplands just east of Roxana, Illinois. The site is a multicomponent series of occupations dating to the Patrick, Sponemann, and TLW I period, cal AD 650–925. Backhoe excavations revealed subsurface features, including 13 Patrick phase pits, 54 Sponemann phase pits and one house, and 81 pits and 7 houses dating to the TLW I period. Another 26 features could not be assigned to a particular phase but probably date to the Late Woodland period.

The Vasey site is significant because it is unusual to find three nearly contemporaneous Late Woodland occupations that can be studied in one location. Especially interesting is that the TLW I occupation contains maize remains, while the Patrick and Sponemann occupations produced no evidence of corn. This fact speaks to the sudden appearance of maize in the northern American Bottom and supports a similar phenomenon observed elsewhere in the American Bottom at this time. The ceramic assemblages are quite distinctive and show rapid technological and stylistic changes over a very brief period, despite the fact that the overall occupation, procurement, and technological practices were very similar over time. Overall, the intensity of occupation seemed to increase over time, and then the locality was completely abandoned sometime after cal AD 925. This phenomenon is also observed at all other Vaughn Branch Upland Locality sites, where there is a gap in occupation between TLW I and Mississippian periods.

RR Volume 36Vol. 36: Main Street Mound: A Ridgetop Monument at the East St. Louis Mound Complex


Edited by Tamira K. Brennan with contributions by Steven L. Boles, Tamira K. Brennan, Kristin M. Hedman, Michael F. Kolb, and Lenna M. Nash

2016, 182 pp., full-color figures, fold-out maps, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

In May 2011, Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) personnel encountered a large area of unusual fills at the East St. Louis Mound Complex (11S706) during excavations for the new Mississippi River Bridge (NMRB) project. These fills proved to be the remnants of previously undocumented Mississippian mound and borrow pit features, partially preserved beneath the historic overburden of industrial East St. Louis. As investigations progressed, a suite of related features were discovered, including a large submound pit, associated human burials, a possible Lohmann phase cemetery, and evidence of other large-scale landscape modification.

The discovery of Main Street Mound afforded two rare opportunities: detailed professional investigations into one of the few extant monuments at East St. Louis and the chance to preserve this and related features in perpetuity through a redesign of the NMRB project corridor. The decision to set aside this thousand-year-old sacred site as a preserve creates a physical link to a long-forgotten landscape, acknowledging the significance of the distant past to the present.

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RR Volume 35Vol. 35: Archaeological Investigations at Marlin Miller #2: Weaver in the LaMoine Valley of Hancock County, Illinois


Edited by Richard L. Fishel with contributions by Leighann Calentine, Richard L. Fishel, Kristin M. Hedman, Steven R. Kuehn, David J. Nolan

2015, 162 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The Marlin Miller site is a multicomponent occupation located within the LaMoine Valley of west central Illinois. The prehistoric cultural remains at the site consisted of a 20 cm thick Late Woodland Weaver midden and 185 Weaver features; one Archaic feature is also present within the investigated area. The Archaic feature consists of a cache of four stone tools associated with the Campbell Hollow horizon (6650–5700 BC). Other Archaic points, such as those belonging to the Springly cluster, suggest a Terminal Archaic (1350–800 BC) presence within the excavated portion of the landform; no cultural features belonging to this time period were recorded however.

Marlin Miller appears to have been a favorite and heavily utilized locus during both the newly defined Camp Creek (AD 250–500) and Crooked Creek (AD 500–800) Weaver phases of the LaMoine Valley. The most common points at Marlin Miller associated with the Weaver occupations are those assigned to the Steuben/Mund cluster; the typical Weaver vessel at Marlin Miller is described as a grit-tempered, plain-surfaced jar that exhibits exterior plain dowel tool impressions at the lip with a general absence of nodes. Fabric-impressed and net-impressed ceramics at the site suggest interaction between Marlin Miller and those peoples living in the Mississippi Valley during the Camp Creek phase. Pecan nutshell and wood may also be an import from that valley.

This book includes chapters on the midden and features, lithics, ceramics, and botanical and faunal remains at Marlin Miller. Illustrated with more than 45 figures and containing links to 14 online appendices, this report adds to the growing body of data pertaining to the Late Woodland Weaver utilization of the LaMoine Valley of western Illinois.

RR Volume 34Vol. 34: Excavations at the Blue Island and Naples-Russell Mounds and Related Hopewellian Sites in the Lower Illinois Valley

By Kenneth B. Farnsworth and Karen A. Atwell with contributions by Paula G. Cross and Steven R. Leigh


2019 (reprint), 270 pp., full-color figures, tables, references

This report presents and evaluates the results of mound-restoration projects carried out in 1986 and 1990 at Blue lsland Mound 6 (11PK513)—two bluff-top early Hopewellian burial mounds located along the western bluff line of the Illinois River valley in northern Pike County. The singular internal mound structures and mortuary artifacts documented by these two excavation projects are evaluated in light of several smaller-scale surveys and excavations at nearby Middle Woodland mortuary sites and ritual-staging areas in an effort to chronicle the early development of Hopwellian mortuary ritual in the lower Illinois Valley.

From the published evidence of 36 modern calibrated radiocarbon dates, Hopewellian mounds were first constructed in northern Pike County during the early Mound House phase (ca. 50 BC–AD 100). The early Mound House phase was an era of far-reaching and diverse interregional exchange in exotic artifacts and raw materials associated with Hopewellian mortuary ritual—an exchange pattern that may largely predate the advent of village-based bluff-top mound cemeteries of the later Mound House phase (ca. AD 100–350). Thus, our study also evaluates regional origins and distributions of distinctive symbolic artifacts associated with early Hopewellian mortuary ritual at the Naples-Russell and Blue Island mounds and at ritual-staging areas near the mounds to aid recognition of other regional ritual and mortuary sites that date to the time of the first appearance of Hopewellian mortuary ritual in the lower Illinois Valley.

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RR Volume 33Vol. 33: Hawkins Hollow: A Late Mississippian Household in the American Bottom


By Douglas K. Jackson with contributions by Mary L. Simon, Lucretia S. Kelly, and Eve A. Hargrave

2015, 272 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

Hawkins Hollow (11MO855) is a prehistoric site located south of St. Louis in southwestern Illinois along the base of the American Bottom bluffs in western Monroe County. The site first came to the attention of the professional archaeological community in 1990 during archaeological survey investigations for a nearby county road project. Further archaeological investigations at this site were warranted when a new roadway was proposed as a northern access route for the Village of Valmeyer, which was relocated to an upland setting south of the site as a result of the calamitous flood of 1993.

Phase I–III investigations for this project were conducted from 1995 through 1996 by ISAS personnel and resulted in the exposure of a late Mississippian Sand Prairie phase structure and an associated midden. The structure had been rebuilt once and then had burned, leaving behind an array of artifacts on the structure’s floor. Lithic tools were present in quantity and included large artifacts as well as numerous microliths. The ceramic assemblage and radiocarbon assays provided support for the Sand Prairie phase affiliation. Because the entire site was not exposed due to project limits, the true nature and extent of the Sand Prairie phase occupation is not known. It may have been just a small family farmstead, but it is possible that a larger community was present. Sand Prairie phase occupations are far less common than occupations associated with the three earlier defined Mississippian phases in the American Bottom. Thus, the Hawkins Hollow site provides significant information on this little-known cultural and temporal segment of this area of Illinois and the Midwest.

RR Volume 32Vol. 32: A Late Woodland Procurement and Ceremonial Complex at the Reilley and Husted Sites in the Northern American Bottom


Edited by Andrew C. Fortier with contributions by Brenda E. Beck, Amanda J. Butler, Madeleine G. Evans, Andrew C. Fortier, Michael T. Gornick, Kristin M. Hedman, Steven R. Kuehn, Kathryn E. Parker, and Alexey Zelin

2015, 286 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

These two settlements form a contemporaneous single-settlement complex. Both sites appear to have been occupied by the same people but utilized for different purposes, and all the features are associated with the early Sponemann phase. Both sites are unique in that they occur when the Sponemann identity was being forged in the northern American Bottom.

Reilley appears to represent a large multiseason procurement camp as evidenced by subsistence activities primarily focused on deer hunting and nut harvesting and processing. Husted has a more limited subsistence focus but produced a number of clay zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figurines that are not common at other Sponemann sites in this region. A number of the human figurines appear to have been purposively broken. This occupation appears to have been a special purpose encampment, perhaps related to propitiation, to gain favor for future hunting and/or harvesting ventures or to give thanks for successful hunts or harvests. Another possibility is that this complex served as a gathering point for two cultural entities that came together to commemorate the creation of the new Sponemann identity. Perhaps a communal hunting venture(s) associated with the new bow and arrow technology was the primary catalyst that drove the creation of this unique economic/ritual complex, a complex that has not heretofore been documented in the Midwest during this time period.

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RR Volume 31Vol. 31: An Early Nineteenth Century Farmstead in Western Illinois: The Seibert Site


Authors: Matthew E. Cross and Mark C. Branstner

2014, 204 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The Seibert site represents one of the earliest farmsteads in Shiloh Valley Township, continually occupied for nearly 200 years. David and Polly Everett first settled the site in 1811 and retained it until 1833, at which time it was sold to Joseph Ledergerber. Ledergerber, in turn, occupied the site until 1861, before selling the property to Hiram Pierce. The property again changed hands in the early twentieth century, when purchased by George Seibert.

The earliest (Everett) occupation occurred when the area was still very much the American frontier and subject to only moderate growth. The succeeding Ledergerber occupation occurred during a period of exponential regional growth; thus, Ledergerber lived in a much more established Euro-American community. The Everett farm had been a struggling, small-scale subsistence operation; Ledergerber transformed it into a very successful commercial farm. This transformation can be seen in the material culture, not especially in type but most certainly in quantity.

Sociocultural differences between the occupants were also observed, especially as noted in alcohol consumption patterns. The Everetts were likely devout Methodists (Polly’s father having been a Methodist preacher), with no alcoholic beverage containers identified with their household. On the other hand, Ledergerber, a Swiss-German emigrant, was responsible for a minimum of 43 alcoholic bottles, dominated by wine, and 36 drinking glasses, including three stemware wine glasses. The vast majority of the bottles were, surprisingly, the French Bordeaux style. It appears Ledergerber’s service in the Swiss Guard under Charles X of France had a clear effect on his taste and choice of alcoholic beverage.

RR Volume 30Vol. 30: Woodland Habitations in the Interior of Western Illinois: A View from White Bend


Edited by Richard L. Fishel with contributions by Mark C. Branstner, Richard L. Fishel, Eve A. Hargrave, Michael F. Kolb, Steven R. Kuehn, David J. Nolan, and Mary L. Simon

2014, 368 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

This book breaks new ground in Woodland studies within the interior of west-central Illinois, presenting a comprehensive report on several of the poorly known Woodland cultures in the LaMoine Valley. Beginning with a late Middle Woodland society around AD 250 and ending with late Late Woodland inhabitants at ca. AD 900, at least five different groups (consisting of late Middle Woodland, two Weaver, Adams variant, and unnamed late Late Woodland peoples) occupied the White Bend site intermittently over that 650-year period.

While some of these features are scattered across the site area, the earlier Weaver features are arranged in a semicircular pattern around a plaza area that is generally devoid of pits from that time. This feature arrangement, as well as the botanical and faunal assemblages, indicates that the earlier Weaver occupation was permanent and year-round.

In addition to discussions on feature distribution\morphology and activity areas (including a siltstone pipe manufacturing locus), highlights include thorough analyses of the extensive lithic, ceramic, faunal, and floral assemblages (the lithic, ceramic, and faunal materials alone total 447,000 items). The book concludes with an in-depth discussion of Weaver in the LaMoine Valley that draws in data from numerous Weaver sites in the area and allows for the definition of two Weaver phases (Camp Creek and Crooked Creek) in the valley and its upland margins. Illustrated with more than 100 figures and containing links to 25 online appendices, this report is a welcome and necessary addition for those researchers interested in the Woodland period of Illinois and the Midwest in general.

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RR Volume 29Vol. 29: Archaic Occupations at White Bend: Helton, Falling Springs, and Hemphill Horizons


Edited by Richard L. Fishel with contributions by Richard L. Fishel, Michael F. Kolb, Steven R. Kuehn, David J. Nolan, and Mary L. Simon

2013, 216 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

Almost 257,000 artifacts were recovered from an area measuring only 98 m2. Covered by up to 1.5 m of alluvial and colluvial deposits, the Archaic cultural components at White Bend consist of a 20 cm thick Hemphill midden (ca. 2650 BC) overlying a 40 cm thick Helton midden (ca. 4100 BC). A Falling Springs occupation (ca. 3500 BC) is also present within the Helton midden. In addition to the artifact-laden Helton midden, which included more than 100 Matanzas and Karnack points, numerous grooved axes, and a plethora of other chert and ground-stone cobble tools, the Helton occupation is marked by four small pit features arranged in a semicircular pattern; one Helton pit feature is located a short distance from these four. It is argued that the four features mark the location of a single-family residence whose occupants dispersed into the valley during the winter months for several years.

The Falling Springs occupation, which is one of the more northerly occurrences of this cultural manifestation in west-central Illinois, was likely a temporary field camp focused on fall hickory nut processing.

The Hemphill occupation at White Bend is suggested to be a one-time event that likely lasted at most several days and was focused on two paired steaming pits. Almost 50 points, consisting of bold side-notched varieties such as Osceola and Godar, are associated with this occupation.

RR Volume 28Vol. 28: Late Woodland Communities in the American Bottom: The Fish Late Site


Edited by Andrew C. Fortier with contributions by Brenda E. Beck, Amanda J. Butler, Madeleine G. Evans, Andrew C. Fortier, Steven R. Kuehn, Kathryn E. Parker, and Alexey Zelin

2015, 340 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The Fish Lake locality, in the central American Bottom floodplain, was the focus of a major concentration of Late Woodland habitation, dating to the Patrick phase, or circa cal AD 650–900. Excavations by ISAS here have yielded well over 700 pits and structures, including several large public buildings and multiple household units. This report introduces the concept of individual household space, that is, consistent areas of open terrain between houses and pits, regardless of the overall community pattern. The absence of pits inside houses also underscores the differentiation between private and communal space.

The identification of so many settlement types in the same location of the same period throws a great deal of light on how socially complex this time was. Such diversity has been previously recognized at the nearby Range site but not at smaller encampments from this period. One important result of both excavations is the finding that the larger, more complex settlements such as Fish Lake and Range were not dependent on maize agriculture; that is, large population growth in the American Bottom prior to cal AD 900 was not economically based on a single crop. We now must look for other explanations for how communities like Fish Lake and Range were able to take root in this area and provide the basis for the eventual events that led to the development of Cahokia. Community harvests and hunts and social/ritual fandangos may have had as much to do with the emergence of complexity the economy and landscape stability did. One of the significant aspects of this report is the presentation of Late Woodland materiality in great detail. It is hoped that this report will provide a baseline for future research and a better understanding of the Late Woodland period in general.

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RR Volume 27Vol. 27: The Hoxie Farm Site Fortified Village: Late Fisher Phase Occupation and Fortification in South Chicago, Second Edition

Edited by Douglas K. Jackson and Thomas E. Emerson with contributions by Brenda Beck, Amanda Butler, Stephanie Daniels, Kathryn C. Egan-Bruhy, Kjersti E. Emerson, Thomas E. Emerson, Madeleine Evans, Ian Fricker, Eve A. Hargrave, Michael L. Hargrave, Kris Hedman, Jennifer Howe, Douglas K. Jackson, Terrance J. Martin, and Jean Nelson

2014, 502 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The Hoxie Farm site (11CK4) is a large, intensively occupied multicomponent site located in the south suburban Chicago area of Cook County, Illinois, near the Village of Thornton. Most segments of prehistory are represented in the various collections and excavated data sets from the site, and the native occupations may have extended into the protohistoric area. Euro-Americans occupied this site just prior to the mid-nineteenth century.

What is unarguably the most important aspect of the site investigations was the exposure of a portion of a large, densely populated village that was surrounded by fortifications—what we term the Fortified Village. This village occupation can be confidently assigned to the fourteenth-century late Fisher phase. Importantly, the village was found to be spatially discrete and segregated from the more intensively utilized portion of the site exposed during the investigations. This latter area, which we refer to as the Main Occupation Area, lies to the north and west of the Fortified Village and is covered in a separate volume. Research Report #40, The Hoxie Farm Site Main Occupation Area: Late Fisher and Huber Phase Components in South Chicago.

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RR Volume 26Vol. 26: Reevaluating the Rosewood Phase in the Initial Late Woodland Period in the American Bottom


Edited by Douglas K. Jackson and Andrew C. Fortier with contributions by Stephanie Daniels, Andrew C. Fortier, Eve A. Hargrave, Kristin M. Hedman, Douglas K. Jackson, Steven R. Kuehn, Kathryn E. Parker, and Alexey Zelin

2014, 324 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

This report is divided into two primary parts. The first part represents the first attempt at providing information about the Rosewood site, the type site for the Initial Late Woodland Rosewood phase. In the early 1980s, the then-unanalyzed materials from this site, and others excavated as part of the FAI-270 Project, formed the basis of the Rosewood phase that denoted the first phase in the American Bottom Late Woodland sequence, circa cal AD 400–550. The second part of this report represents a reevaluation of the ceramics, lithics, feature types, and subsistence recovered from 19 Rosewood phase sites. Errors of identification of ceramic types and their associated phases and/or pit clusters have been identified and rectified in this report. The second part of this report, in fact, should be utilized as the baseline for future research associated with the Rosewood phase.

Normally, phases in the American Bottom are based on published reports detailing all ceramics, lithics, subsistence, etc. That was not the case for the Rosewood phase. This report is therefore significant because it finally brings all these assemblages, including other Rosewood assemblages, collectively to light for the first time. This report really provides the most complete basis for defining the entire Initial Late Woodland sequence, including information about the Mund and Cunningham phases that denote the end of the Initial Late Woodland period. This report is also a testament to the perseverance of a team of researchers and administrators aimed at keeping Rosewood in our collective memories. It also supports the notion that old collections can have significant value and reinforces the importance of reviving older unanalyzed collections from this area.

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RR Volume 25Vol. 25: The Egan Site: A Massey Phase and White Hall Phase Campsite in Western Illinois


Edited by Andrew C. Fortier with contributions by Mary Simon and Emanuel Breitburg

2013, 360 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

The Egan site is situated in the uplands in Scott County in western Illinois, about 20 kilometers east of the Illinois River valley and was the location of several chronologically distinct occupations dating to the Hopewell era (ca. cal AD 150), the late Middle Woodland Massey phase (ca. cal AD 400), and the Late Woodland White Hall phase (ca. cal AD 600).

Of significance is the fact that several distinct occupations occurred in this same relatively isolated location. The author proposes that this location probably was utilized over a 500-year period because it lay along a possible overland trail connecting the Illinois River valley with the upland prairies.

The Egan site is unique in many respects, but it mainly stands out because of its distinctive material assemblages, its surprising chronological placement, its isolated position in the western Illinois uplands, and its groundbreaking subsistence information. This report represents one of the few attempts to analyze and report on material and subsistence assemblages from the Massey and White Hall phases. Because so few sites are known from these periods in this area, the Egan report will stand as a baseline for future research. Several people were inadvertently left out of the original acknowledgments for the Egan Research Report. The author apologizes for this oversight. The following three people made significant production contributions to this report.

RR Volume 24Vol. 24: Changing Consumption Patterns on a Mid-Nineteenth Century Illinois Farmstead: The Manns Site


Author: Claire Dappert with contributions by Steven R. Kuehn

2014, 126 pp., full-color figures, tables, references, online downloadable appendices

Situated in northwestern Madison County, Illinois, the Manns site presents a unique view of a long-term, mid-nineteenth century occupation by a single household. The Garrett family purchased the underlying property in 1831, and they retained possession until 1892. Fieldwork conducted in 2005 and 2006 led to the discovery of 40 subsurface features and the recovery of nearly 7,500 individual artifacts. Seventy percent of the artifacts were recovered from just two features, a well (dating 1830–ca. 1850) and a cistern (1845–ca. 1880). Combined, these yielded a wide swathe of material covering nearly the entirety of the Garrett occupation. This data facilitated an unfettered examination of changing consumption patterns and consumer choice, isolated from variables associated with multiple ownerships.

The well revealed a strong preference for printed refined ceramics over the less expensive painted wares prior to ca. 1850; this finding is significantly out of the norm for most rural farmsteads. The post-1845 cistern reveals a relatively equal representation of printed and painted wares, but with minimal plain paneled and molded wares, again out of the norm for that era. While the cistern presents a typical teaware dominant assemblage, the well yielded approximately 50% more tableware than teaware. A proportionally large number of unrefined vessels are present; while regionally atypical, the Manns site’s proximity to the Upper Alton pottery industry would have made these readily available. Furthermore, as a number of vessels in the cistern exhibit warping and bubbled glaze, these may represent lower-cost seconds purchased directly from the pottery. Further illustrating the local access to affordable ceramic food storage vessels, no glass food storage or canning jars were recovered. While archival documents show the Garrett ownership persisted until 1892, the archaeology demonstrates the occupation of this site concluded ca. 1880 or, at minimum, sustained a drastic change in site use and refuse disposal.

The original version of this publication omitted some references from Chapter 5. Those references are available to download as a single errata sheet here.

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RR Volume 23Vol. 23: Late Woodland Frontiers: Patrick Phase Settlement along the Kaskaskia Trail, Monroe Country, Illinois


Authors: Brad Koldehoff and Joseph M. Galloy with Kathryn E. Parker, Elizabeth S. Scott, Megan Jost, and Julie Zimmerman Holt

2006, 496 pp., figures, tables, references

Planned improvements to Illinois Route 3 in Monroe County necessitated archaeological investigations at three sites occupying adjacent ridges on the south side of Waterloo: Sprague (11MO716), Rhonda (11MO717), and Dugan Airfield (11MO718). The investigations resulted in the recovery of important new information about Late Woodland Patrick phase (cal AD 650–900) land use and community organization in the interior uplands.

In total, more than 200 Patrick phase pit features and structure basins (including 11 keyhole structures) were excavated at these three sites. The subsistence remains show that local populations were farmers as well as foragers. Significantly, a number of riverine resources—large fish, aquatic turtles, and mussels—were identified that are unavailable or uncommon in the interior uplands. These remains, in addition to certain lithic raw materials (e.g., Crescent Hills Burlington chert) and several pipes made from floodplain clays, indicate regular visits to the American Bottom or interaction with American Bottom groups.

RR Volume 22Vol. 22: The Archaeology of the East St. Louis Mound Center: Part II—The Northside Excavations


Edited by Andrew C. Fortier with contributions by Stephanie Daniels, Fred A. Finney, Andrew C. Fortier, Eve A. Hargrave, Douglas K. Jackson, Michael F. Kolb, Elizabeth M. Scott, and Mary Simon

2007, 502 pp., figures, tables, references

The East St. Louis Mound Center represents the second-largest Mississippian town and mound center in North America. Long thought to have been destroyed by modern urban development, recent archaeological investigations revealed remains of a deeply buried (by historic rubble and fills) Mississippian ceremonial precinct bordered by remnants of intact mound and plaza fills. Investigations reported in this volume occurred along a narrow pipeline transect paralleling the Northside of existing Interstate 55/70. Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) work along the Southside of the interstate has previously been reported as Part I. Those excavations also revealed intact remains of buried mound fills, as well as public structures, a storage compound, and a palisade. Northside investigations, reported as Part II in this volume, took place over a two-year period and uncovered a sequence of mound, plaza, house, post pit, and storage compound construction unrivaled anywhere in the Midwest, with the possible exception of its nearby sister city at Cahokia. The Southside and Northside investigations together provide a remarkable first glimpse into the structure and activities of the ESTL Mound Center.

For a more discussion about this site, see also Research Report #21, The Archaeology of the East St. Louis Mound Center: Part I—The Southside Excavations.

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RR Volume 21Vol. 21: The Archaeology of the East St. Louis Mound Center: Part I—The Southside Excavations


Edited by Timothy R. Pauketat with contributions by Kristin Hedman, John E. Kelly, Lucretia S. Kelly, Kathryn E. Parker, and Timothy R. Pauketat

2005, 434 pp., figures, tables, references

The southside excavations cut through the center of the once-impressive East St. Louis mound center. Thought destroyed by archaeologists until the 1991–92 excavations, subsurface archaeological features and the bases of earthen pyramids remain intact below layers of historic fill. Although the southside excavations were limited to a single trench, that trench passed through a portion of the site that appears to have been the location of earthen mounds, special buildings, compound walls, huge marker posts, and miscellaneous pits. The trench was also wide enough to permit measurements of building sizes and to allow observations of the spatial arrangement of mounds, buildings, walls, posts, and pits of various kinds. For these reasons, and despite excavation limitations, the southside features and artifact assemblages give us a rare glimpse into the inner sanctum of a Mississippian mound center. Only at the Cahokia site itself has anything comparable been documented in the region (e.g., Tracts 15A and 15B, the Grand Plaza, the East Palisade, and various mounds).

The East St. Louis site—the scene of massive earthmoving projects, giant post emplacements, and public house constructions—was apparently occupied with equal intensity throughout the Stirling phase at the same time that Cahokia was undergoing a similar monumental aggrandizement. So, Cahokia and East St. Louis were occupied and built up at the same time over the course of one century (AD 1100–1200). People in both places were on the receiving end of a regionwide network that, at a minimum, mobilized labor (first) and goods and foodstuffs (second). Accumulations of goods and maize provisions may have been such that special huts were necessary for storage.

For more discussion about this site, see also Research Report #22, The Archaeology of the East St. Louis Mound Center: Part II—The Northside Excavations.

RR Volume 20Vol. 20: Middle Woodland Archaeology of the C. House Site


Edited by Jodie A. O'Gorman with contributions by Paula Cross, Daniel Goatley, Catherine Mauch, Jodie A. O'Gorman, Marjorie B. Schroeder, Bonnie Styles, and Karli White

2005, 204 pp., figures, tables, references

The C. House site is a small, primarily Middle Woodland, multicomponent site situated on a sand ridge along the Mississippi River. Excavation of the C. House site offered a rare opportunity to document a small, riverine-oriented specialized camp, furthering our understanding of Middle Woodland people and their landscape.

The C. House site provides the first documentation of a specialized Middle Woodland encampment on the banks of the Mississippi with clear stratigraphic evidence of repeated use. It is well documented based on stratigraphic, artifact, and chronological information that Middle Woodland people returned to the site for almost 200 years.

Comparison of the warm-weather occupation of C. House with other excavated sites from this time period provides further insight into the lives of these people 2,000 years ago. Most striking is the difference in the use of blades between the riverine-oriented sites (Hull and C. House) and the slough sites near the bluff line. Perhaps this indicates some kind of specialized processing of aquatic species. The most common kinds of fish include catfish, buffalo, sucker, drum, bowfin, pike, and gar. Many seem to have been very large fish and it is speculated that the abundant blades could be related to fish processing.

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RR Volume 19Vol. 19: The Petite Michele Site: An Early Middle Woodland Occupation in the American Bottom


Author: Andrew C. Fortier with contributions by Kathryn E. Parker, John T. Penman, Lucretia S. Kelly, Kristin Hedman, and George Milner

2004, 232 pp., figures, tables, references

The Petite Michele site represents a substantial residential camp dating to the latter portion of the early Middle Woodland Cement Hollow phase. The site is located on a sandy bank of the Goose Lake meander, an abandoned channel scar of the Mississippi River, in the central portion of the American Bottom. The occupation consists of 86 pit features and one ceramic concentration. Sizable and diagnostic ceramic and lithic assemblages were retrieved from pit and midden contexts. Archaeobotanical and faunal remains were also recovered. This site currently represents the most extensive early Middle Woodland occupation excavated in the American Bottom. The occupation appears to represent a multi-season encampment, probably fall through winter, occupied by a transitory group of Middle Woodland people who utilized this site because of its proximity to the marsh resources of the abandoned Goose Lake meander and its proximity to nearby upland resources.

In most respects, the assemblages recovered from Petite Michele are typical of the Cement Hollow phase. The assemblages are characterized by the presence of large, thick-walled, decorated, sandy-tempered cooking jars, Snyders projectile points, large unifacial flake scrapers, and a subsistence system focused on venison and incipient horticulture. Unusual aspects of the assemblage are (1) the presence of a sizable assemblage of southern Illinois Cobden/Dongola chert tools and debitage, many pieces with exterior rind still in place; (2) some southern Illinois Crab Orchard pottery; and (3) possible nascent Hopewell Interaction Sphere artifacts such as mica, fluorite, a bird effigy, a ground schist tablet, and a miniature copper celt.

RR Volume 18Vol. 18: The Range Site 4: Emergent Mississippian George Reeves and Lindeman Phase Occupations


Authors: John E. Kelly, Steven J. Ozuk, and Joyce A. Williams with contributions by Lucretia S. Kelly, Kathryn E. Parker, and George R. Milner

2007, 530 pp., figures, tables, references

This is the fourth report in the Range site series. Previous reports examined the Archaic through Late Woodland, Early Emergent Mississippian, and the Mississippian occupations at this site. This volume describes the later two Emergent Mississippian components—George Reeves and Lindeman phase occupations. Since primary occupation of the site took the form of a single large village whose inception coincided with the George Reeves phase and that persisted into the Lindeman phase, it is important that changes within this community be carefully documented.

For more discussion about this site, see also FAI-270 #16, The Range Site: Archaic through Late Woodland Occupations, FAI-270 #20, The Range Site 2: The Emergent Mississippian Dohack and Range Phase Occuations (11S47), and Research Report #17, The Range Site 3: Mississippian and Oneota ­Occupations.

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RR Volume 17Vol. 17: The Range Site 3: Mississippian and Oneota Occupations


Author: Ned H. Hanenberger with contributions by George R. Milner, Stevan C. Pullins, Richard Paine, Lucretia S. Kelly, and Kathryn E. Parker

2003, 515 pp., figures, tables, references

This is the third in a series of reports describing the archaeological investigations at the Range site (11S47) in St. Clair County, Illinois. It deals with the 183 Mississippian and Oneota habitations and burial features. These features combine to form Mississippian period Lohmann and Stirling phase (AD 1000–1150) farmsteads and community centers, a late (AD 1500–1650) Oneota farmstead, and six mortuary areas.

For more discussion about this site, see also FAI-270 #16, The Range Site: Archaic through Late Woodland Occupations, FAI-270 #20, The Range Site 2: The Emergent Mississippian Dohack and Range Phase Occuations (11S47), and Research Report #18, The Range Site 4: Emergent Mississippian George Reeves and Lindeman Phase Occupations.

RR Volume 16Vol. 16: The Vaughn Branch and Old Edwardsville Road Sites: Late Stirling and Early Moorehead Phase Mississippian Occupations in the Northern American Bottom


Authors: Douglas K. Jackson and Philip G. Millhouse with contributions by Mary L. Simon and Thomas E. Berres

2003, 431 pp., figures, tables, references

This report presents information from the archaeological investigations of two Mississippian sites, Vaughn Branch (11MS1437) and Old Edwardsville Road (11MS1291), situated in the northern American Bottom. Archaeological investigations at the Vaughn Branch site revealed a Stirling phase component. Investigations at the Old Edwardsville Road site produced evidence of an early Moorehead phase occupation. These two sites, located only 2.4 km apart, are situated in a similar bluff-base setting, and despite being assigned to two separate phases, the occupations are separated by only a limited temporal span. Each site occupation also represents an example of a specialized form of Mississippian rural community referred to as a civic node. Central to this identification is the presence of a sweat lodge at each site. Evidence from these sites has added important information on the complex settlement patterns associated with the Cahokian polity in the American Bottom and has provided the opportunity to examine material and subsistence patterns on similar sites from within a limited temporal perspective.

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RR Volume 15Vol. 15: The Woodland Ridge Site and Late Woodland Land Use in the Southern American Bottom


Author: Brad Koldehoff with contributions by Kathryn E. Parker, Gregory D. Wilson, and John T. Penman

2002, 310 pp., figures, tables, references

The Woodland Ridge site is located on a narrow, sinuous bluff-top ridge and adjacent bluff spurs along the northern flank of Salt Lick Point in western Monroe County, Illinois. Archaeological investigations conducted in 1996–1997 prior to construction for the relocated town of Valmeyer included the excavation of 108 late prehistoric pit features arranged in 15 distinct clusters. Based on ceramics, radiocarbon dates, feature fills, and feature organization, it appears that the site was used periodically for brief periods during the full length of the Patrick phase (ca. AD 600–800).

The common occurrence of large ceramic bowls and charred masses of starchy seeds supports the notion that Woodland Ridge was a periodic aggregation site, and that individual feature clusters were probably reused by individual families or larger social groups. The great number of large bowls is especially significant: proportionately more of these vessels were recovered from Woodland Ridge than from any previously reported Patrick phase site.

By addressing multiple traditional and contemporary themes or problem issues (including landscape and resources, settlement organization, aggregative group behavior, feasting and ritual, indigenous plant cultivation, exchange and the use of herbal medicines, among others) Koldehoff and his collaborators enrich our insights into the Late Woodland of the American Bottom.... For those of us who harbor a predilection for complex egalitarian Late Woodland systems, particularly in the greater Midwest, The Woodland Ridge Site…is essential reading.

—William A. Lovis, Professor and Curator of Anthropology, Michigan State University

RR Volume 14Vol. 14: Late Woodland and Mississippian Occupations in the Hadley and McCraney Creek Valleys of West-Central Illinois


Author: Michael D. Conner with contributions by John J. Field, Barbara D. Stafford, and Marjorie B. Schroeder

2002, 463 pp., figures, tables, references

This report presents the results of excavations of six sites in the valleys of two tributaries to the Mississippi River in west-central Illinois. Five of the sites—Hadley Creek South and North, Barcam, Barabell, and Tickless—were closely spaced in Hadley Creek valley. The Schuhardt site was located several kilometers north in the McCraney Creek valley. Except for a scattering of earlier projectile points at several of the sites, and a Mississippian component at Schuhardt, material remains and radiocarbon dates at all the sites indicate the principal occupation at each dated to the Late Woodland period, between AD 600 and AD 1000.

Excavated features included two Mississippian structures at Schuhardt and two unusual intensely fired, limestone-lined pits at Hadley Creek North and South. The function of the pits is uncertain, but some evidence suggests they may have been used as kilns for firing ceramics. In all, 155 prehistoric pit features were excavated at the six sites: 2 at Barabell, 7 at Tickless, 26 at Barcam, 80 at Hadley Creek North and South, and 40 at Schuhardt. The Late Woodland ceramic assemblage at the sites was dominated by cordmarked jars. At each site, 50–67% of the vessels were decorated with a variety of lip punctations. Undecorated vessels with punctations below the lip accounted for 12–38% of vessels. Less than 10% were decorated with cord impressions.

Despite the Late Woodland components’ temporal and spatial proximity, they contain a wide variety of feature types, ceramic vessel styles, and botanical assemblages.... This report serves as an excellent description and discussion of Late Woodland cultural variability.

—William Green, Logan Museum of Anthropology, Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin

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RR Volume 13Vol. 13: The Kaesberg-Schaudt Site and the Late Woodland Settlement in the Mary’s River Valley


Authors: Brian M. Butler, Mark J. Wagner, Anne Cobry DiCosola, Eve A. Hargrave, Heather A. Lapham, Sarah J. Monteith, and Kathryn E. Parker

2008, 298 pp., figures, tables, references

The Kaesberg-Schaudt site (11R594) is a large, intensively occupied Late Woodland village site located on a ridge crest overlooking the Mary’s River valley north of Steeleville, Illinois. The excavated features are thought to be the eastern side of a ring midden pattern with the “plaza” located just west of the stripped area. Radiocarbon dates indicate a ca. 350-year occupation span from ca. AD 650 to AD 1000 (calibrated), with some of the heaviest use coming after AD 800. Both artifacts and subsistence remains support a long-term multiseasonal use of the site. Botanical remains show that the inhabitants were heavily invested in plant cultivation, including maize, after AD 800.

Kaesberg-Schaudt is used as a type site to define the Mary’s River phase of the Late Woodland, an entity contemporaneous with the Patrick phase of the American Bottom and portions of the Kaskaskia Valley and with the Raymond phase of the Big Muddy drainage. The key ceramic marker is the persistence of rim nodes in some quantity, a trait virtually lacking in Raymond and Patrick phase assemblages.

RR Volume 12Vol. 12: The Archaeology and Rock Art of the Piney Creek Ravine


Author: Mark J. Wagner with photography by Charles Swedlund

2002, 124 pp., figures, tables, references

The 111-acre Piney Creek Ravine Nature Preserve in southwestern Illinois contains the highest frequency of prehistoric rock-art sites per acre of any area documented in the state. A 1997 partial archaeological survey of the preserve recorded four such sites and two prehistoric rockshelter sites. The Piney Creek site (11R26) is the largest documented prehistoric rock-art site in the state, with over 150 carved and painted designs. These designs are documented through a combination of photographs and tracings on clear acetate. Stylistic design differences suggest they are not all contemporaneous. The prevalence of winged anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures, and the presence of horned/eared anthropomorphs—one of which holds three spears, suggests some of the designs were created as part of shamanistic ceremonies. The designs appear to date to Late Woodland and Mississippian times (ca. AD 450–1500). Excavation of a test square in the shelter floor revealed Archaic, Crab Orchard, Late Woodland, and Mississippian components at the site.

Wagner brings an arsenal of approaches to the question of age and cultural affiliation of each style and motif, including comparison with other eastern rock art, comparison with archaeological specimens, ethnographic studies of art, and even structural analysis that compares the bilateral symmetry of one panel with engraved shell artifacts from the Spiro site. Space does not permit an outline of his well-reasoned conclusions; suffice it to say that anyone working on the Archaic, Woodland, or Mississippian periods should have a look.

—Linea Sundstrom

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RR Volume 11Vol. 11: The Floyd Site: A Terminal Archaic Habitation in the Northern American Bottom


Authors: J. Bryant Evans with Madeleine Evans and Kathryn E. Parker

2001, 220 pp., figures, tables, references

The Floyd site, located along a paleochannel of Cahokia Creek in the American Bottom, was occupied at the end of the Late Archaic period. Radiocarbon analyses and recovered artifacts indicate that most of the site occupations occurred during the Terminal Archaic Prairie Lake phase (ca. 1200–900 BC). The site appears to have been occupied by small family groups, who used it as a base camp nearly year-round. The Floyd site excavations add significant information to current subsistence/settlement models for the American Bottom. These models are discussed in the concluding chapter of the report.

Evans and his collaborators are to be congratulated on producing a highly readable and comprehensive analysis of the extensive work at the Floyd site and providing new and interesting information and interpretation on the nature of Terminal Archaic adaptation and community organization in the American Bottom.... This volume is worth reading, not just by regional specialists but also by those with broad-ranging interests in the Archaic or other time periods.

—William A. Lovis, Michigan State University

RR Volume 10Vol. 10: Canal Boats Along the Illinois and Michigan Canal: A Study in Archaeological Variability


Authors: Floyd Mansberger and Christopher Stratton

2000, 68 pp., figures, tables, references

During the late summer of 1996, an unusually extreme thunderstorm deposited over 15 inches of rainfall on Chicago’s southwestern suburbs within a 24-hour period. One result of this torrential downpour was the destruction of a dam across the Du Page River at Channahon, which supplied a large section of the Illinois and Michigan Canal with water. An unexpected result of the dewatering of this stretch of canal was the exposure of seven canal boat hulls in a section of the canal known as the Morris Wide Water.

Opened for navigation in the summer of 1848, the Illinois and Michigan Canal connected the southern tip of Lake Michigan (and the port city of Chicago) with the upper Illinois River valley, greatly influencing the historic pioneer settlement of the northern quarter of the state. Although canal boats were once a common sight along this waterway, with hundreds of boats traveling between Chicago and LaSalle, little is known today about canal-boat construction techniques in Illinois. Archaeological investigations at the Morris Wide Water have resulted in detailed documentation of seven such boats and have contributed to our understanding of these nineteenth-century workhorse riverine craft.

[A]n important contribution to the study of American inland watercraft.

—Historical Archaeology, Troy D. Nowak of the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University

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RR Volume 9Vol. 9: The Cunningham Site: An Early Late Woodland Occupation in the American Bottom


Authors: Michael C. Meinkoth, Kristin Hedman, and Dale McElrath with contributions by Susan E. Bender, Douglas J. Brewer, Kathryn E. Parker, and Jolee A. West

2001, 325 pp., figures, tables, references

Archaeological investigations were undertaken in 1992–1993 at the location of the proposed Glendale Gardens Upland Reservoir in Madison County, Illinois. Subsequent testing and mitigation resulted in the identification of the Cunningham site. Over 100 features were excavated at the site, including two human burials and at least four domestic structures. Recovered artifacts included significant ceramic, lithic, floral and faunal remains.

The Cunningham site is interpreted as a single-component Early Late Woodland occupation dating to ca. AD 400–500 and is viewed by the report’s authors as “a single component horticultural hamlet. The lack of structure rebuilding and the ceramic continuity across the site, combined with the generally similar types of faunal and floral remains from the feature clusters, argue strongly for a short-term, perhaps multiyear occupation of the site."

RR Volume 8Vol. 8: The Ringering Site and the Archaic–Woodland Transition in the American Bottom

Authors: J. Bryant Evans and Madeleine G. Evans with Edwin R. Hajic, Sheena K. Beaverson, Andrea K. Freeman, Mary L. Simon, and Thomas E. Berres

2000, 460 pp., figures, tables, references

The Ringering site was occupied, off and on, from the Paleoindian to Mississippian periods. Particularly well represented are Early to Late Archaic and Early Woodland cultural remains. In some areas of the site there were approximately 3 m of stratified artifact-bearing deposits. Although the report is large, readers will find it easy to locate specific temporal-cultural information. The authors compare and contrast material assemblages in terms of significant socioeconomic and technological changes that occurred in regional prehistory. In particular, the Ringering excavations offer significant insights into the Late Archaic to Early Woodland transition in the American Bottom (during the Ringering, Carr Creek, and Columbia phases), and these are discussed in some detail in the final chapter.

The Ringering report is a significant addition to the prehistoric record in the American Bottom and provides important data on late Pleistocene/Holocene geology and archaeology as well as the Early Woodland period.

—C. Russell Stafford, Indiana State University

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RR Volume 7Vol. 7: The Keeshin Farm Site and the Rock River Langford Tradition in Northern Illinois


Edited by Thomas E. Emerson with contributions by M. Catherine Bird, Thomas E. Emerson, Madeleine Evans, Andrew C. Fortier, Rochelle Lurie, John T. Penman, Mary L. Simon, and Anne R. Titelbaum

1999, 284 pp., figures, tables, references

This study of the Upper Mississippian Keeshin Farm site is the second of two investigations at late prehistoric sites endangered by proposed expansion of the Greater Rockford Airport in Winnebago County (see Research Report #4, The Rock River Sites: Late Woodland Occupation Along the Middle Rock River in Northern Illinois). Excavations at Keeshin Farm in the middle Rock River valley uncovered multiple prehistoric pit features containing ceramic and lithic artifacts and botanical and zoological remains. The site’s inhabitants appear to have been dedicated corn agriculturalists who also exploited riverine fauna and elk. This is one of the few modern excavation/analysis projects at a Langford habitation site and the only such scientific excavation to occur outside northeastern Illinois. The project results suggest that Langford society was more sedentary and more complex than previously thought.

While the Langford occupation of the middle Rock River emphasized floodplain habitats, the focus was on rich habitats [like] the Kiswaukee-Rock River confluence. The settlement-subsistence is characterized by “long-term villages [and] smaller secondary sites,” with maize cultivation becoming an important staple as tribal social-political relationships became more complex.

For researchers concerned with the Langford tradition of northern Illinois, Keeshin Farm is a must read. And for those whose interests extend beyond the Upper Midwest, this volume is a welcome contribution to the archaeology of late prehistoric small-scale societies.

—Roland L. Rodell, University of Wisconsin–Rock County

RR Volume 6Vol. 6: Hill Prairie Mounds: The Osteology of a Late Middle Mississippian Mortuary Population

Authors: Kristin Hedman and Eve Hargrave

1999, 253 pp., figures, tables, references

This report presents a meticulous reanalysis and documentation of skeletal remains excavated over 30 years ago from two of four mounds at the Hill Prairie mound group, situated about 10 miles northeast of Cahokia. The mounds contained the late prehistoric skeletal remains of at least 53 individuals dating to ca. AD 1250–1300. An important component of this study involves the careful chronological evaluation of changes in regional late prehistoric cemetery populations. It now appears that stone box-grave cemeteries previously attributed to the Sand Prairie phase instead may be associated with the late Moorehead/early Sand Prairie phase transition. Also, overlapping dates from ossuary sites in the region indicate greater mortuary variability during this period than previously recognized. Reanalysis for human remains from such sites indicates only limited nutritional stress and moderate disease loads. Significant maize consumption continued throughout this period, suggesting that environmental or social constraints were not significantly affecting the diet or health of these late Mississippian populations.

[A]n excellent example of how detailed an osteological report can be...[T]he authors are to be commended for their effort to record as much as possible.... The editor of this series is to be commended for including such as extensive series of appendices with their wealth of data.

—Martin Nichols, Open University, UK

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RR Volume 5Vol. 5: Archaeology at the Whitley Site: An Early Historic Farmstead on the Prairies of Eastern Illinois


Authors: Bonnie L. Gums with Lucretia S. Kelly and Neal H. Lopinot

1999, 124 pp., figures, tables, references

The Whitley site, located near the headwaters of Sugar Creek in the upland “Grand Prairie” area of Edgar County near the east-central border of Illinois, represents the remains of a homestead established by one of the area’s earliest European settlers. William Whitley purchased the 80-acre farm in 1829, although evidence suggests the family was living there as early as 1823. They sold the land in 1833, after which the homestead lay abandoned for about 20 years. From the recovered artifacts, the farm was later briefly reoccupied, probably in the 1850s by Silas Elliott and his family. Archaeological investigations at the Whitley site revealed the farmstead plan including remains of the house, two smokehouses, two wells, four cisterns, and other features enclosed by fences. Artifacts were abundant, and the recovered ceramic assemblage—consisting primarily of decorated pearlware and other early nineteenth century wares—is of particular interest.

[A]n excellent technical cultural resource management report in that it fully discussed the range of features and the material culture recovered.... Its major strength is that it more than adequately documents the spatial plan of this early nineteenth-century farmstead. It will be an extremely useful work for other researchers interested in farmstead archaeology.

—Mary R. McCorvie, Shawnee National Forest

RR Volume 4Vol. 4: The Rock River Sites: Late Woodland Occupation Along the Middle Rock River in Northern Illinois

Authors: Anne R. Titelbaum, David M. Ernest, Andrew C. Fortier, John T. Penman, and Mary L. Simon

1999, 332 pp., figures, tables, references

This large-scale survey project was a unique opportunity to glean extensive data regarding the archaeological record of north-central Illinois. Although 46 sites were originally identified, an initial survey noted that three sites had undergone irreversible impact, and 12 were not recommended for further work, leaving 31 sites for further archaeological investigation. This report concerns the results of investigations at 12 prehistoric Rock River sites. Each of these sites is located on the floodplain and terrace system overlooking the Rock River within the vicinity of the confluence with the Kishwaukee tributary. Twelve sites were subjected to Phase III mitigation, and 127 prehistoric features were discovered on seven of these sites. The recovered materials include collared ceramics, triangular points, maize, and elk remains. Three main cultural components are represented in the assemblage: Late Archaic, Late Woodland, and Upper Mississippian.

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RR Volume 3Vol. 3: The Kirkpatricks' Potteries in Illinois: A Family Tradition


Authors: Bonnie L. Gums, Eva Dodge Mounce, and Floyd R. Mansberger

1997, 96 pp., figures, tables, references

This study documents the Kirkpatrick family’s vast stoneware output at Vermillionville (ca. 1836–1871) as well as their craftsmanship and creative ceramic artistry. The first third of the report describes the results of Bonnie Gums’s IDOT-sponsored controlled-surface-collection and test excavation project at the Vermillionville site. The remainder of the study is devoted primarily to Gums’s detailed analysis of over 5,000 diagnostic stoneware sherds and kiln-furniture fragments recovered by Eva Mounce during several years of surface collections at the site.

[This volume] offers readers an interesting view into the profound social transformation of industrialization, here seen in the arena of pottery.... This extensive record is a valuable comparative data set for archaeologists working in the region who seek to identify pottery from archaeological contexts, as well as an interesting reflection of the incredible range and diversity of products generated by this traditional pottery firm. Gums et al. have written a lively and cogent exposition.

—Patrick E. Martin, Michgan Technological University

RR Volume 2Vol. 2: The Sister Creeks Site Mounds: Middle Woodland Mortuary Practices in the Illinois River Valley


Authors: Michael C. Meinkoth with Kristin Hedman, Mary Simon, Thomas Berres, and Douglas Brewer with a foreword by James B. Griffin

1995, 126 pp., figures, tables, references

The field investigations at Sister Creeks site (11F15) consist primarily of mapping and testing remnants of Mounds 61 and 62—part of a group of 23 Hopewellian mounds and three village areas that make up the Sister Creeks site. Identified features and artifacts recovered are all associated with the Middle Woodland period (Hopewellian) occupation.

Our excavations at the site provided detailed information on the construction of the two mounds and provided new botanical and faunal subsistence information about the site’s Middle Woodland inhabitants. The current project also provided an opportunity to analyze the important Schoenbeck collections obtained from the mounds during salvage excavations in the 1940s. The Schoenbecks found numerous burials and Hopewell Interaction Sphere materials, including copper celts, bear canines, cut human and animal mandibles, pipes, pearls, and other grave goods. Together, these data sets and the author’s comparative analysis of the Sister Creeks excavation results with other excavated regional Hopewellian mortuary sites provide important new information on the mortuary practices of Middle Woodland peoples in the central Illinois River valley.

This report is preceded by an important short historical essay by James B. Griffin on the early development of Illinois Hopewellian studies.

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RR Volume 1Vol. 1: The Fingers and Curtiss Steinberg Road Sites


Author: John E. Kelly with contributions by Brad Koldehoff and Kathryn Parker

1995, 115 pp., figures, tables, references

This small volume reports on the results of excavations at two sites: Fingers (11S333) and Curtiss Steinberg Road (11S823). At the Fingers site, two late Stirling-phase Mississippian structures and 14 associated pits were located and excavated. Each structure could have housed a nuclear family of up to six or seven people. If treated as a single settlement, the site would have been occupied for a minimum of eight years. At the Curtiss Steinberg Road site, the distribution of surface debris suggested that there were three discrete adjacent occupation areas. One of these areas intersected the project right-of-way and was excavated, revealing an isolated early Stirling-phase structure.