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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)...


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.


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