A Facebook message from a citizen scientist with a keen eye in Henderson County revealed an impressive assemblage of artifacts. ISAS archaeologists at the Western Illinois Field Station have worked extensively along U.S. Highway 34 near Oquawka where the artifacts were found and have a great interest in the archaeology of this region.
The ceramics all appear to relate to Burris ware, which is the product of a regional, terminal Late Woodland native culture found in this area and the adjacent part of Iowa that can be expected to date between approximately 900–1100 AD, or roughly 1,000 years ago. It remains possible that other types of pottery are included.
The people who made Burris ware likely lived along the Mississippi River on linearly oriented sandy terrace remnants.
Thanks to the numerous contributions from our citizen scientists around the state, ISAS has a better understanding of Illinois’ archaeological heritage. We look forward to discussing potential artifact discoveries and look forward to continuing to collaborate with the public.
If you think you have found an artifact, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your images and questions to Ask an Archaeologist.