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Home Illinois Saline County Carrier Mills Historical Markers Carrier Mills Archaeological District

Carrier Mills Archaeological District

Carrier Mills, IL , USA

Latitude & Longitude: 37° 41' 8.400012", -88° 36' 57.24"
  Illinois IL State Historical Marker
Illinois State
Historical Marker

This area of some 143 acres located approximately two miles south of Carrier Mills was inhabited by prehistoric people throughout three different archeological periods. Until the turn of the century, the South Fork of the Saline River was a meandering stream with large area of swamps and shallow cypress lakes nearby. These areas were rich in plants and animals that prehistoric inhabitants sought for food. Therefore, the locality became a natural focal point for human settlement. In 1978 and 1979, archaeologists intensively investigated this area. Excellent preservation conditions permitted the recovery of many tools and animal and plant remains that have provided significant new insights into the prehistory of southern Illinois. Sporadic use of the area by small groups of hunters and gatherers can be dated to 8000 B.C., and the area was used more or less continuously until 1400 A.D. Settlement activity increased dramatically during the late Middle Archaic Period, 4500 to 3000 B.C., when the area was inhabited by larger groups with a more sedentary lifestyle. These occupations produced thick deposits containing many artifacts and buriels. The area also saw heavy use during the Middle and Late Woodland periods, 200 B.C. to 900 A.D. The peoples of those times increasingly emphasized the collection and storage of plant foods and began to domesticate some native plants. The final prehistoric inhabitants were Mississippian Period Indians. (900 to 1400 A.D.), who lived in scattered farmsteads and cultivated corn and squash.

Last updated: 2/14/2015 15:17:00
Carrier Mills Archaeological District Illinois Map