Dig seeks clues about European, Indian interaction
CAHOKIA, Ill. (AP) — Archaeologists are hoping to turn up detailed clues about the interaction between Native Americans and European settlers in Cahokia at a site in southwest Illinois.
The researchers have been excavating an area around the old Holy Family log church. European missionaries established a base there in the early 1700s in the middle of a village home to the Tamaroa and Cahokia tribes.
Researchers want to learn more about the generation of interaction that took place between the different cultures, the Belleville News-Democrat reported (http://bit.ly/1srCsVb ). There are relatively few places to find good evidence of such early interaction, archaeologists said.
They used a 1735 map of the village drawn by one of the missionaries as a guide to know where to dig.
By Wednesday, the dig team had turned up evidence of the European settlement, including part of a British tea cup, a fragment of an ale bottle, a clay pipe stem and a British-made flintlock for a rifle.
“Right now we’re in the 1820s to 1830s,” said Robert Mazrim, a historical resources specialist with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey’s Colonial Heritage Program. “There are pieces of pottery, and the Indian presence is just starting to show up.”
Clues that they were getting closer to the earlier time periods included a small flake left behind by a stone tool-making process and a piece of faience, or imitation porcelain from the late 1600s.
Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com