U. of I. News: Restoring a lost heritage

By Newsroom America Feeds at 8 Aug 2017

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BEHIND THE SCENES

Restoring a lost heritage

By Thomas E. Emerson, Illinois State Archaeological Survey Director

PIATT COUNTY, Ill. — It is a gray and overcast day as we make our way to the mounds at Robert Allerton Park. We use golf carts to get to the mounds, bumping our way over hills and bends along a trail. I look up through the canopy of enormous trees and see the sun trying to penetrate the cloud cover.

These mounds are likely burial structures, constructed by native people living here 1,000 to 2,000 years ago. Similar mounds were once common across Illinois, but the vast majority have been destroyed by looting, agriculture or development. The mounds here have suffered from 19th century looting, but were never plowed and have been preserved as part of the Allerton legacy.

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