The Prehistory of Salt Creek in
Cook and Du Page Counties of
Northern Illinois
Brian G Bardy
Fullersburg Historic Foundati...
Salt Creek Valley
• Largest tributary of the Des Plaines
River; drainage area covers 150
square miles
• Constructional val...
Salt Creek Environment
• Pollen profiles at Volo Bog, Lake County, IL show variations in floral
composition over time dire...
Prairie Peninsula
•Prairie Peninsula formed
as a result of warmer &
dryer climate conditions
•Expanse of prairie grass
wit...
Spring Valley Site 11CK919
•Site located on a knoll between the WGN Marsh at the mouth of the west
branch of Salt Creek wi...
11CK919 Archaic Components
Middle Archaic 8,000 to 5,000
B.P.
Late Archaic 5,000 to 3,000 B.P.
Top Row: Kirk, 2 Helton, Bi...
Archaic / Woodland
Early Middle Woodland
Adena Points
•Multi-purpose tools; used as
tips and knives
Top row: Scallorn, Klu...
Utilitarian Tools
Top Row: 2 burins, utilized flake, 3 hafted
scrapers
Bottom Row: Drills and perforators, 2 hafted drills...
Furniture
Broken Tips & Bases
Medium Preforms
Fine Preforms
• Discarded artifacts; broken tips & bases, indicate base camp...
Ecotone Settings
• Ecotone is a transition zone between 2 different ecological zones
School Street Site 11DU451 Kristan Si...
Kensington/Ogden Site 11CK810
French Jeton 1669
Obverse Reverse
HINC. SPLENDOR. ET.
ADOR.
Hence Splendor and Passion
MAR. ...
Clovis/Gainey 11,200 to 10,800 RCYBP
•Clovis sites situated in upland locations
on Valparaiso Moraine
1) Mayslake (11DU20)...
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SaltCreekPrehistory

  1. 1. The Prehistory of Salt Creek in Cook and Du Page Counties of Northern Illinois Brian G Bardy Fullersburg Historic Foundation September 13, 2014
  2. 2. Salt Creek Valley • Largest tributary of the Des Plaines River; drainage area covers 150 square miles • Constructional valley formed by glacial melt water in a sag between the Valparaiso and Tinley Moraines ca. 14,000 years B.P. • Salt Creek transects Chicago Lake Plain, former lake bed of glacial Lake Chicago – 12,500 B.P. • Valley possesses a low gradient stream aided in forming wetlands with aquatic/riparian resources • Salt Creek’s mouth lies north of Chicago Portage area; continental divide between Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley watershedsArchaeological sites recorded in the IAS database at the Illinois State Museum
  3. 3. Salt Creek Environment • Pollen profiles at Volo Bog, Lake County, IL show variations in floral composition over time directly related to climate change (King 1981) • Zone I (11,070 to 10,900 B.P.) dominated by spruce, fir, larch, pine & herbs; characterizes open spruce woodland – at end of Pleistocene (cooler & wetter) • Zone II (10,900 to 10,300 B.P.) decline in open spruce woodland replaced by pine, fur, birch & ash that peak then decline; elm & oak increase; walnut, dogwood & hackberry first appear • Zone III (10,300 to 7,900 B.P.) shows mix of both upland & wet (mesic) lowland deciduous components with scattered pine; oak dominates with increase in grasses; pine & fir disappear – onset of Holocene epoch
  4. 4. Prairie Peninsula •Prairie Peninsula formed as a result of warmer & dryer climate conditions •Expanse of prairie grass with xeric oak, hickory, & walnut trees •Floral composition resembles a mosaic pattern; forests line major rivers & streams, prairie occupies uplands with oak savannah •Edible plants & animals are found near wetlands (marshes, rivers, lakes & streams) & ecotone settings; border lines between zones • Archaeology sites are found adjacent to areas that provide abundant/diverse resources (i.e. forest edges, wetland locales); but bias may exist due to development
  5. 5. Spring Valley Site 11CK919 •Site located on a knoll between the WGN Marsh at the mouth of the west branch of Salt Creek with the main channel •Artifact assemblage indicates continual occupation spanning 10,000 + years •Assemblage indicates a base camp; disposal of chert debris & cached preforms Dalton Horizon 10,500 – 10,000 BP Hi-Lo Cluster Early Archaic 10,000 – 8,000 BP Lanceolate form, concave bases, basal & lateral stem grinding, resharpened/beveled edges Variety of regional types: Kirk horizon, Mid-continent, Great Plains Top Row: Fox Valley, St. Albans, Kirk Corner Notched, 2 Kirk like Bottom Row: Hardin Barb, Thebes, St. Charles, Stilwell, Rice Lobed
  6. 6. 11CK919 Archaic Components Middle Archaic 8,000 to 5,000 B.P. Late Archaic 5,000 to 3,000 B.P. Top Row: Kirk, 2 Helton, Big Sandy, Matanzas points Bottom Row: Table Rock, Matanzas, 3 Raddatz side notched points Side notched and Stemmed points •High frequency of resharpening & heat treatment •Spear Points made from exotic cherts located 100 to 250 km away Ordovician and Mississippian formations •Variety of point styles and foreign cherts indicate a far-flung settlement round by hunter-gatherers during Middle Archaic
  7. 7. Archaic / Woodland Early Middle Woodland Adena Points •Multi-purpose tools; used as tips and knives Top row: Scallorn, Klunk, Merom, & side notched points Bottom row: side notched & expanding stemmed, Fox Valley
  8. 8. Utilitarian Tools Top Row: 2 burins, utilized flake, 3 hafted scrapers Bottom Row: Drills and perforators, 2 hafted drills Hammerstone, grooved axe, bannerstone 1 side scraper, 4 end scrapers Knives •Task oriented tools for 1) Wood working 2) Hide working 3) Carving bone •Production/Processing 1) Food 2) Clothing 3) Shelter 4) Fuel 5) Transportation
  9. 9. Furniture Broken Tips & Bases Medium Preforms Fine Preforms • Discarded artifacts; broken tips & bases, indicate base camp activities, locations where maintenance of tool kits occurred away from capture or kill sites • Cached preforms of different stages indicate exotic cherts were transported from further distances then refined on-site • Heat treatment of cherts made them more amenable for processing into tools • High incident of resharpening, multi-functional usage and re-use of tool types indicates conservative (recycled) strategies in utilizing chert resources Behavioral Implications Reflected in Lithic Technology
  10. 10. Ecotone Settings • Ecotone is a transition zone between 2 different ecological zones School Street Site 11DU451 Kristan Site 11CK825 •Single component Middle Woodland site located upland between Salt Creek’s east bank and a marsh • Multi-component site located in a forest-edge ecotone; transition zone between floodplain-forest & upland prairie • Site discovered by Ray Fraser and Gregory Perino • affinis Snyder, Steuban, preform, Norton point, axe Top Row: Late Paleoindian rejected preform with transverse flaking on one side, Hardin Barbed point, side notched, Waubesa point, triangular knife, modified tool Bottom Row: Red Ochre cache blades (Pomranky points) made from Bayport Chert derived from Huron County, Michigan Havana Hopewell sites are extremely rare outside major river valley locales
  11. 11. Kensington/Ogden Site 11CK810 French Jeton 1669 Obverse Reverse HINC. SPLENDOR. ET. ADOR. Hence Splendor and Passion MAR. THER. D. G. FR. ET. NAV. REG. Marie Therese Dei Gratia Franciae Et Navarrae Regina • Jeton was discovered in 1996 buried in a parkway near the intersection of Kensington & Ogden Avenues in La Grange • Jetons were tokens; this one commemorated the marriage of King Louis XIV & Marie-Therese • Minted in Paris in 1669, it is made of pure copper in a manual press
  12. 12. Clovis/Gainey 11,200 to 10,800 RCYBP •Clovis sites situated in upland locations on Valparaiso Moraine 1) Mayslake (11DU20) glacial lake 2) Trinity School Site (11CK1061) located on tertiary stream of Flag Creek

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