Archaeologists uncover nearly 1,000 year old village in Murphysb - WNEM TV 5

Archaeologists uncover nearly 1,000 year old village in Murphysboro

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Pieces of what used to be a clay pot used by Native Americans in Southern Illinois. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS) Pieces of what used to be a clay pot used by Native Americans in Southern Illinois. (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
A group of archeologists has uncovered a nearly 1,000 year old Native American village near the Southern Illinois Airport in Murphysboro Illinois.

The Illinois State Archaeological Survey was contracted to survey land so the state of Illinois could build a roadway.The investigation uncovered a 700 to 900 year old Native American village.

The group of people that lived in the village would have pre-dated European contact according to Senior Research Archaeologist, Patrick Durst, of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey.

“It’s sort of unclear if these groups spread out and became parts of what we know as the tribes today," Durst said.  "Or if they stayed in this location and became something else, or if they moved away entirely. And that’s part of our goal as an archaeologists.”

Durst said the group would also pre-date recognized tribes. Historically, organized tribes came later than the remnants of what are found at this dig site.

The site shows remnants of charcoal in the soil, which leads Durst to believe that several of the homes burnt down.

Clay pots, tools and even stones are being used to determine exactly how old the site is, according to Durst.

“It helps us understand how they were living, what they were eating, how they were cooking," Durst said. " “The mundane everyday [artifact] is actually what’s important to us."

The archaeological team has also found mussel shells and deer and fish bone on the site. Durst said that is an indication that the group was utilizing the local river ways.

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