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The first big city in North America

Archaeologists working in Illinois have uncovered North America's first big city near the site of a new bridge to span the Mississippi. “The occupation is heavy,” says Tamira Brennan, the interim field station manager for the Illinois State Archaeological Survey in Fairview Heights. Although the scientists haven’t yet done a population

Students unearth remains of sweat lodge at Cahokia Mounds

A team of students from Saint Louis University have uncovered the remains of a burned sweat lodge at Cahokia Mounds in Illinois. Generally, a sweat lodge is a domed hut made of natural materials. They were -- and continue to be -- used by American Indians as steam baths for physical

Remains of Abraham Lincoln’s courthouse found

Part of the footprint of the 1836 courthouse where Abraham Lincoln worked has been found in Illinois. The discovery by archaeologists Floyd Mansberger and Christopher Stratton came about an hour after an excavator started digging on the south side of the McLean County Museum of History. It was the first day

Road survey in Illinois leads to discovery of ancient village

The remains of an ancient village, which dates back between 700-900 years ago, has been found during road construction surveys near the Southern Illinois Airport. “It’s sort of unclear if these groups spread out and became parts of what we know as the tribes today," Durst said. "Or if they stayed

All-terrain vehicle drives over ancient mounds

Some off-roaders in Southern Illinois have caused serious damage to, and possible looted, ancient American Indian burial grounds at the Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site. More damage was done to the site recently when an all-terrain vehicle or truck was driven on one of the mounds, where "No Trespassing" signs are

18th-century log fort found in Illinois

A previously unknown log fort which dates back to the 18th century has been found near two other forts in Illinois. "This is the only excavation of its kind anywhere in the region," said Mazrim. "We have nothing to even compare it with until you go up to Michigan. We have excavated

Vandals destroy university excavation

Vandals have destroyed an Archaeology Field School site being excavated by university students in Illinois. The carefully dug "squares," or excavations, where soil is removed by scraping literally one layer at a time, were caved in or marred by large holes where vandals hastily tried to dig for artifacts with shovels

900-year-old figurine found in Illinois

A 900-year-old figurine of a kneeling woman was found in southwestern Illinois during the construction of a new bridge across the Mississippi River. If just one more shovel of earth had been removed, the curious figurine of a kneeling woman carved about 900 years ago might have ended up in