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Emiquon Preserve

Historical Site Category: Native American History

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What's The Story

For thousands of years, Native Americans relied on aquatic and terrestrial resources found in the Illinois River floodplain. They built villages beyond the reach of floods, while groups of gatherers and hunters traveled throughout the floodplain in search of desired resources. Traces of those settlements remain.

Travel to the Lakeside Observatory. On the crest of the river valley bluffs to the west you will see places where the ground surface rises for a short distance and then falls. In the 1930s, archaeologists from the University of Chicago excavated some of the elevated areas and discovered that they were Native American cemeteries. Their report—Rediscovering Illinois— was one of the first to illustrate the value of a methodical scientific approach to the study of Native American history. In addition to their work on the Morton Ridge, they also explored ancient sites at Liverpool, the Ogden-Fettie site, and Sister Creeks.

To learn more:

Please be advised, this report contains graphic images of human skeletons:

Cole, Fay-Cooper and Thorne Deuel 1937. Rediscovering Illinois. The University of Chicago Press

Harn, Alan 2012. Six Hundred Generations There: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on Life at Emiquon. The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Properties, Fulton County, Illinois. Illinois State Museum Reports of Investigations, No. 57.

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