Pattee Auditorium, Center for Science and Business, Monmouth College, Monmouth IL
700 East Broadway
Monmouth, IL 61462
During the Mississippian period (1000-1400 AD) the largest prehistoric North American city existed right here in Illinois. The rise and fall of Cahokia reverberated throughout eastern North America, resulting in many population movements and new ways of life in the region. Archaeologists refer to the new lifeways in northern Illinois at this time as the Langford tradition. While most major Langford sites occur along the upper Illinois River and the Chicagoland area, one site that does not fit the pattern is the village of Noble-Wieting in McLean County. Since the early 1900s archaeologists have puzzled over the site’s anomalous nature. Was Noble-Wieting a trading outpost, set up by Langford peoples to access Mississippian goods or ideas? Or was it a refuge, established by Langford peoples but accepting disaffected Mississippians? Or was it an example of ethnogenesis, a new cultural entity emerging from the interaction of two or more disparate groups? Recently, Illinois State University and the Illinois State Archaeological Survey returned to this important site to address these, and other, questions. In this presentation, I will review what we are learning about Noble-Wieting as well as the many lingering questions that remain unanswered.