Illinois archaeologists excavating
1,000-year-old city equivalent to Chicago
Send a link to a friend
[DEC. 6, 2004]
SPRINGFIELD -- The top archaeological discoveries in the
state of Illinois from 2004 will be revealed Wednesday at 7 p.m. at
the Illinois State Museum's Research and Collection Center, 1011 E.
Ash in Springfield. Among finds to be discussed by Department of
Natural Resources scientists are a city the equivalent of Chicago
that thrived in southern Illinois 1,000 years ago and a community
2,000 years old in the Rock River Valley in northwestern Illinois.
New technology is also revolutionizing the way archaeologists and
anthropologists study the past.
"The Department of Natural Resources mission includes preserving
Illinois' rich cultural resources, as well as educating the public
about those resources," said Joel Brunsvold, department director.
"The work of archaeologists in Illinois reveals centuries of history
in our state. As we understand our past, we can better understand
our present and plan for the future of Illinois."
Ph.D., director of the Illinois State Museum at Dickson Mounds, will
outline discoveries in the Wednesday evening program, which is open
to the public. Those discoveries include research on 19th-century
farm life; new information about the Kincaid Site, located in Pope
and Massac counties; and discoveries from the Rock River Valley in
"It was significant that we learned more about the day-to-day
life of individuals because of the archaeological studies of this
past year," Wiant said. "So often, history books tell us about major
events. We uncovered artifacts that help us understand daily life
for residents of Illinois."
Findings at the Kincaid Site, located 10 miles from Metropolis,
include remnants of a 1,000-year-old city. The site covers dozens of
acres in a two-county area.
[to top of second column in
"This site was the equivalent to Chicago," Wiant said. "While
Europeans were living through the Dark Ages, here in Illinois, a
city was thriving. Our research will help us understand the vast
community that existed and perhaps determine what happened to it."
Searching that vast site will be faster and easier in the coming
year because of new remote sensing devices that provide
archaeologists with outlines of structures beneath the earth's
surface. In contrast to tedious work scouting sites in the past, new
technology in the field of archaeology enables researchers to
determine more exactly where to expend time and energy digging in
their quest for historic artifacts and structures.
Another area of significant discoveries in the past year has been
the Rock River Valley. Investigation of a mound complex there has
revealed a 2,000-year-old village.
Additional discoveries have been made near construction sites in
East St. Louis and in Springfield.
Department of Natural Resources news release]