Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Chronology of a Fortified Mississippian Village in the Central Illinois River Valley

  • Anthony M Krus (a1) (a2), Edward W Herrmann (a3), Matthew D Pike (a4), G William Monaghan (a5) and Jeremy J Wilson (a5)...

Abstract

Geophysical survey and excavations from 2010–2016 at Lawrenz Gun Club (11CS4), a late pre-Columbian village located in the central Illinois River valley in Illinois, identified 10 mounds, a central plaza, and dozens of structures enclosed within a stout 10 hectare bastioned palisade. Nineteen radiocarbon (14C) measurements were taken from single entities of wood charcoal, short-lived plants, and animal bones. A site chronology has been constructed using a Bayesian approach that considers the stratigraphic contexts and feature formation processes. The village was host to hundreds of years of continuous human activity during the Mississippi Period. Mississippian activity at the site is estimated to have begun in cal AD 990–1165 (95% probability), ended in cal AD 1295–1450 (95% probability), and lasted 150–420 yr (95% probability) in the primary Bayesian model with similar results obtained in two alternative models. The palisade is estimated to have been constructed in cal AD 1150–1230 (95% probability) and was continuously repaired and rebuilt for 15–125 yr (95% probability), probably for 40–85 yr (68% probability). Comparison to other studies demonstrates that the bastioned palisade at Lawrenz was one of the earliest constructed in the midcontinental United States.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: tony.krus@glasgow.ac.uk.

References

Hide All
Ashmore, PJ. 1999. Radiocarbon dating: avoiding errors by avoiding mixed samples. Antiquity 73:124130.
Bayliss, A. 2009. Rolling out revolution: using radiocarbon dating in archaeology. Radiocarbon 51(1):123147.
Bayliss, A. 2015. Quality in Bayesian chronological models in archaeology. World Archaeology 47(4):677700.
Bayliss, A, Bronk Ramsey, C, van der Plicht, J, Whittle, A. 2007. Bradshaw and Bayes: towards a timetable for the Neolithic. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 17(1):128.
Bayliss, A, van der Plicht, J, Bronk Ramsey, C, McCormac, G, Healy, F, Whittle, A. 2011. Towards generational time-scales: the quantitative interpretation of archaeological chronologies. In: Whittle, A, Healy, F, Bayliss, A, editors. Gathering time: dating the Early Neolithic enclosures of southern Britain and Ireland. Oxford: Oxbow Books. p. 1759.
Bender, MM. 1968. Mass spectrometric studies of carbon-13 variations in corn and other grasses. Radiocarbon 10(2):468472.
Bender, MM. 1971. Variations in the 13C/12C ratios of plants in relation to the pathway of photosynthetic carbon dioxide fixation. Phytochemistry 10(6):12391244.
Beta Analytic. 2019. Website available at http://www.radiocarbon.com.
Bigman, DP, King, A, Walker, CP. 2011. Recent geophysical investigations and new interpretations of Etowah’s palisade. Southeastern Archaeology 30(1):3850.
Bird, BW, Wilson, JJ, Gilhooly, III WP, Steinman, BA, Stamps, L. 2017. Midcontinental Native American population dynamics and late Holocene hydroclimate extremes. Scientific Reports 7:41628.
Bronk Ramsey, C. 1995. Radiocarbon calibration and analysis of stratigraphy: the OxCal program. Radiocarbon 37(2):425430.
Bronk Ramsey, C. 1998. Probability and Dating. Radiocarbon 40(1):461474.
Bronk Ramsey, C. 2001. Development of the radiocarbon calibration program. Radiocarbon 43(2A):355363.
Bronk Ramsey, C. 2009a. Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon 51(1):337360.
Bronk Ramsey, C. 2009b. Dealing with outliers and offsets in radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon 51(3):10231045.
Buck, CE, Cavanagh, WG, Litton, CD. 1996. Bayesian approach to interpreting archaeological data. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Buck, CE, Kenworthy, JB, Litton, CD, Smith, AFM. 1991. Combining archaeological and radiocarbon information: a Bayesian approach to calibration. Antiquity 65(249):808821.
Cerling, TE, Ehleringer, JR, Harris, JM. 1998. Carbon dioxide starvation, the development of C4 ecosystems, and mammalian evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 353(1365):159171.
Chisholm, BS, Nelson, DE, Schwarcz, HP. 1982. Stable carbon isotope ratios as a measure of marine versus terrestrial protein in ancient diets. Science 216:11311132.
Cobb, CR, Giles, B. 2009. War is shell: the ideology and embodiment of Mississippian conflict. In: Nielsen, A, Walker, W, editors. Warfare in cultural context: practice, agency, and the archaeology of violence. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. p. 84108.
Conner, MD. 2016. Mississippian habitation components at Dickson Mounds in the Central Illinois River Valley. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 41(1):6792.
Conrad, LA. 1991. The Middle Mississippian cultures of the Central Illinois Valley. In: Emerson, TE, Lewis, RB, editors. Cahokia and the Hinterlands: Middle Mississippian cultures of the Midwest. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. p. 119163.
Conrad, LA, Harn, AD. 1972. The Spoon River culture in the Central Illinois Valley. Unpublished manuscript on file, at Western Illinois University Archaeological Research Lab and Dickson Mounds Museum.
Dee, M, Bronk Ramsey, C. 2014. High-precision Bayesian modeling of samples susceptible to inbuilt age. Radiocarbon 56(1):8394.
Dye, DH. 2008. War paths, peace paths: an archaeology of cooperation and conflict in Native eastern North America. New York: AltaMira Press.
Emerson, TE. 2007. Evidence for Late Pre-Columbian warfare in the North American midcontinent. In: Chacon, RJ, Mendoza, RG, editors. North American indigenous warfare and ritual. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. p. 129148.
Esarey, D. 2000. The Late Woodland Maples Mills and Mossville phase sequence in the Central Illinois River Valley. In: Emerson, TE, McElrath, DL, Fortier, AC, editors. Late Woodland societies: tradition and transformation across the Midcontinent. Lincoln: University of Nebraska. p. 387410.
Esarey, D, Conrad, LA. 1998. The bold counselor phase of the Central Illinois River valley: Oneota’s Middle Mississippian margin. Wisconsin Archaeologist 79(2):3861.
Green, W. 1993. A prehistoric frontier in the Prairie peninsula: Late Woodland upland settlement and subsistence patterns. Illinois Archaeology 5(1 and 2):201214.
Green, W, Nolan, DJ. 2000. Late Woodland peoples in west-central Illinois. In: Emerson, TE, McElrath, DL, Fortier, AC, editors. Late Woodland societies: tradition and transformation across the Midcontinent. Lincoln: University of Nebraska. p. 345–86.
Hamilton, WD, Kenney, J. 2015. Multiple Bayesian modelling approaches to a suite of radiocarbon dates from ovens excavated at Ysgol yr Hendre, Caernarfon, North Wales. Quaternary Geochronology 25:75-82
Hamilton, WD, Krus, AM. 2018. The myths and realities of Bayesian chronological modeling revealed. American Antiquity 82:187203.
Harn, AD. 1975. Cahokia and the Mississippian emergence in the Spoon River area of Illinois. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Sciences 68(4):414434.
Harn, AD. 1994. Variation in Mississippian settlement patterns: The Larson Settlement System in the Central Illinois River Valley. Springfield: Illinois State Museum.
Hart, JP, Asch, DL, Scarry, CM, Crawford, GW. 2002. The age of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in the northern Eastern Woodlands of North America. Antiquity 76:377385.
Holt, JZ. 2005. Animal remains from the Carter Creek Site: Late Woodland adaptive strategies in the frontier of West Central Illinois. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 30(1):3765.
Holt, JZ, Feathers, JK. 2003. Dating the Middle to Late Woodland transition in the Illinois Valley: radiocarbon and thermoluminescence dates from the Baehr-Gust site. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 28(1):7393.
Iseminger, WR, Pauketat, TR, Koldehoff, B, Kelly, LS, Blake, L. 1990. East palisade investigations. The Archaeology of the Cahokia Palisade. Springfield (IL): Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
KCCAMS. 2019. Website available at http://www.ess.uci.edu/researchgrp/ams/protocols.
Keeley, LH. 1996. Warfare before civilization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Keeley, LH, Fontana, M, Quick, R. 2007. Baffles and bastions: the universal features of fortifications. Journal of Archaeological Research 15(1):5595.
Krus, AM. 2016. The timing of Precolumbian militarization in the U.S. Midwest and Southeast. American Antiquity 81(2):375388.
Krus, AM, Cobb, CR. 2018. The Mississippian fin de siècle in the middle Cumberland region of Tennessee. American Antiquity 82:302319.
Krus, AM, Cook, R, Hamilton, D. 2015. Bayesian chronological modeling of SunWatch, a Fort Ancient Village in Dayton, Ohio. Radiocarbon 57(5):965977.
Lieto, JR, O’Gorman, JA. 2014. A preliminary analysis of Oneota and Mississippian serving vessels at the Morton Village site, west-central Illinois. North American Archaeologist 35(3):243255.
Lowdon, JA. 1969. Isotopic fractionation in corn. Radiocarbon 11(2):391–3.
Milner, GR. 1999. Warfare in prehistoric and early historic Eastern North America. Journal of Archaeological Research 7(2):105151.
Milner, GR. 2000. Palisaded settlements in prehistoric eastern North America. In: Tracy, JD, editor. City walls. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 4670.
Milner, GR. 2007. Warfare, population, and food production in prehistoric Eastern North America. In: Chacon, RJ, Mendoza, RG, editors. North American indigenous warfare and ritual. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. p. 182201.
Milner, GR, Chaplin, G, Zavodny, E. 2013. Conflict and societal change in Late Prehistoric Eastern North America. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 22(3):96102.
OxCal. 2019a. OxCal v4.3 program. Available at http://c14.arch.ox.ac.uk/.
OxCal. 2019b. User manual to OxCal program. Available at http://c14.arch.ox.ac.uk/oxcalhelp/hlp_contents.html.
Reimer, PJ, Bard, E, Bayliss, A, Beck, JW, Blackwell, PG, Bronk Ramsey, C, Grootes, PM, Guilderson, TP, Haflidason, H, Hajdas, I, Hatte, C, Heaton, TJ, Hoffmann, DL, Hogg, AG, Hughen, KA, Kaiser, KF, Kromer, B, Manning, SW, Niu, M, Reimer, RW, Richards, DA, Scott, EM, Southon, JR, Staff, RA, Turney, CSM, van der Plicht, J. 2013. IntCal13 and Marine13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50, 000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 55(4):18691887.
Richards, MP, Hedges, REM. 1999. Stable Isotope Evidence for Similarities in the Types of Marine Foods Used by Late Mesolithic Humans at Sites Along the Atlantic Coast of Europe. Journal of Archaeological Science 26(6):717–22.
Santure, SK. 1981. The changing community plan of settlement C. In: Esarey, D, Conrad, LA, editors. The Orendorf site: preliminary working papers 1981. Macomb (IL): Archaeological Research Laboratory, Western Illinois University. p. 580.
Santure, SK, Harn, AD, Esarey, D. 1990. Archaeological investigations at the Morton Village and Norris Farms 36 Cemetery. Springfield (IL): Illinois State Museum.
Scarry, CM. 1998. Domestic life on the northwest Riverbank at Moundville. In: Knight, VJ, Steponaitis, VP, editors. Archaeology of the Moundville chiefdom. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 63101.
Schoeninger, MJ, Deniro, MJ, Tauber, H. 1983. Stable nitrogen isotope ratios of bone collagen reflect marine and terrestrial components of prehistoric diets. Science 216:13811383.
Scott, EM, Bryant, C, Cook, GT, Naysmith, P. 2003. Is there a fifth international radiocarbon intercomparison (VIRI)? Radiocarbon 45:493495.
Scott, EM, Cook, GT, Naysmith, P. 2010. A report on phase 2 of the Fifth International Radiocarbon Intercomparison (VIRI). Radiocarbon 52(3):846858.
Scott, EM, Cook, GT, Naysmith, P, Bryant, C, O’Donnell, D. 2007. A report on phase 1 of the 5th international radiocarbon intercomparison (VIRI). Radiocarbon 49:409426.
Steadman, DW. 1998. The population shuffle in the central Illinois valley: a diachronic model of Mississippian biocultural interactions. World Archaeology 30(2):306326.
Stuiver, M, Kra, RS. 1986. Editorial comment. Radiocarbon 28(2B):ii.
Stuiver, M, Polach, HA. 1977. Reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 19(3):355363.
Thompson, VD, Krus, AM. 2018. Contemplating the history and future of radiocarbon dating in the American Southeast. Southeastern Archaeology 37:111.
Ward, GK, Wilson, SR. 1978. Procedures for comparing and combining radiocarbon age-determinations: a critique. Archaeometry 20(1):1931.
Wilson, GD. 2012. Living with war: the impact of chronic violence in the Mississippian-Period Central Illinois River Valley. In: Pauketat, TR, editor. The Oxford handbook of North American Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 523533.
Wilson, GD. 2015. Incinerated villages in the North. In: Pauketat, TR, Alt, SM, editors. Medieval Mississippians: the Cahokian world. Santa Fe (NM): School for Advanced Research. p. 99105.
Wilson, GD, Melton, MA, VanDerwarker, AM. 2018. Reassessing the chronology of the Mississippian Central Illinois River Valley using Bayesian analysis. Southeastern Archaeology 37:2238.
Wilson, JJ. 2010. Modeling life through death in late prehistoric west-central Illinois: an assessment of paleodemographic and paleoepidemiological variability [PhD dissertation]: Binghamton University, SUNY.
Wilson, JJ, Pike, MD. 2015. Warfare and community organization at Lawrenz Gun Club: a case study in the advancement of Mississippian archaeology through geophysics. Illinois Antiquity 50:2931.

Keywords

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary materials

Krus et al. supplementary material
Krus et al. supplementary material 1

 Word (457 KB)
457 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed