An early nineteenth century farmstead in western Illinois : the Seibert site

Matthew E. Cross, Mark C. Branstner

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


These two settlements form a contemporaneous single-settlement complex. Both sites appear to have been occupied by the same people but utilized for different purposes, and all the features are associated with the early Sponemann phase. Both sites are unique in that they occur when the Sponemann identity was being forged in the northern American Bottom. Reilley appears to represent a large multiseason procurement camp as evidenced by subsistence activities primarily focused on deer hunting and nut harvesting and processing. Husted has a more limited subsistence focus but produced a number of clay zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figurines that are not common at other Sponemann sites in this region. A number of the human figurines appear to have been purposively broken. This occupation appears to have been a special purpose encampment, perhaps related to propitiation, to gain favor for future hunting and/or harvesting ventures or to give thanks for successful hunts or harvests. Another possibility is that this complex served as a gathering point for two cultural entities that came together to commemorate the creation of the new Sponemann identity. Perhaps a communal hunting venture(s) associated with the new bow and arrow technology was the primary catalyst that drove the creation of this unique economic/ritual complex, a complex that has not heretofore been documented in the Midwest during this time period.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationUrbana-Champaign :
PublisherIllinois State Archaeological Survey,
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameISAS Research Report no. 31


  • ISAS


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