Recently staff from the Northern Illinois Field Station, along with volunteers, investigated and helped restore a site in the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC).
This site the remaining fragment of what once was a large Native American farming village. While much of the archaeological record of Cook County has been lost due to development, the Forest Preserve protects 610 archaeological sites. FPCC works with ISAS to assess and protect these cultural resources.
The site was briefly investigated by archaeologists in 1929 and again in 1957 and found to contain some of the earliest European trade goods yet identified in Illinois. Sometime between 1980 and 2000, the site was disrupted by unauthorized digging, so in June ISAS and FPCC collaborated to re-excavate the previously disturbed areas, record valuable archaeological information, and repair the damage to the site by backfilling two large pits and removing brush and non-native vegetation.
During the recent investigation, archaeologists found stone tools, ceramic vessel fragments, and bone and shell tools. One of the most striking finds was a significant portion of a ceramic vessel, which ISAS staff partially reconstructed.
Read more about this investigation and restoration project.