Miriam Agran

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Gunnerson, James H.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


La Salle County (Ill.)--Antiquities


This thesis is a descriptive account of the archaeology of Wedron. Mounds. Wedron Mounds, located in La Salle County, Illinois, is an archaeological site dating to the Late Woodland period. The eight burial mounds are situated on a bluff that overlooks the confluence of Indian Creek and the Fox River. Although each mound had been damaged to some extent by local excavators, the four mounds that were dug by the Northern Illinois University field school in 1972 yielded burials and artifacts. The characteristics of the mounds are typical of Late Woodland times. Each mound has a unique shape and is generally small in size. The humus layer was stripped off the pre-mound surface before the mounds were constructed. The burials exhibit a variety of positions and orientations; no correlation between age and sex and burial position is apparent. Although grave goods did not accompany the burials, flint debris and sherds were found in the mound fill. Two major types of undisturbed burials were discovered. One burial type had individuals several inches below the mound fill. The other burials were placed approximately one and a half feet below the surface of the mound and were associated with limestone rocks. The rocks were arranged around the head and upper torso. Ceramics and lithics are the two major categories of artifacts found. The potsherds are typed as Starved Rock Collared and a variety of Lake Michigan ware. These types and variations are common to the Illinois area and are related to the earlier Hopewell pottery. Wares with grit temper, thin walls, cordmarked surfaces, cord-wrapped stick impressions and/or notched rims follow the Hopewell horizon over much of the eastern Woodlands. The lithic material includes Fox Valley, Steuben, Dickson, and other Late Woodland points. Earlier point types were also found. Aside from one or two exceptions, humpbacked knives and thumbnail scrapers complete the tool assemblage at the site. Wedron Mounds appears to be typical for a Late Woodland site in Illinois. The paucity of the artifacts and their crude manufacture reflect the cultural deterioration of the time period.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations and maps.


iv, 73 pages




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