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1,400-year-old Native American village found in Illinois

A Native American settlement which dates back 1,400 years has been found south of Jerseyville, Illinois.

The archaeologists believe they have a village dating back to about A.D. 600, as well as archaeological deposits going back 4,000 to 5,000 years; also, on the east side of the highway, the archaeologists are conducting a more current excavation dating to the 1830s or 1840s.

“The excavations on the west side are yielding very well-preserved bone fragments, as well as pottery pieces,” Nolan said. “It appears this was a large communal village, but may not have been used year-round. Our later analysis of our data will have to tell us that.”

Some of the pits on the west side excavations are large, some smaller; some are storage pits, and some were trash pits. Two appear to have been kiln pits. To date, archaeologists have not found any evidence of homes, because they haven’t discovered any post pits. The large bell-shaped storage pit with the flagstone flooring is shaped such that it easily could have been sealed with a clay plug to keep rodents and other small animals out of the goods stored inside.

On the east side excavations, they are finding ample amounts of glass and pottery pieces dating to the 1830s and 1840s. While a much later time period, it is one that is not well-documented archaeologically. At that site, they have found what appears to be an old cistern and an odd, trench-like area that was known more to be a construction method of the French.

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