Archaeology on the margins: the Metrolink light-rail extension through the east St. Louis precinct

Joseph M. Galloy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nearly three decades of archaeological work at the East St. Louis Precinct have repeatedly demonstrated that much of this Mississippian site has survived the effects of urbanization and industrial development. Historic period excavation and filling have reshaped and obscured the prehistoric landscape, complicating the delineation of the site boundaries and identification of mounds, plazas, and habitation areas. Therefore, predicting the archaeological potential of any part of the site has been difficult. This paper examines this issue using an archaeological survey conducted for the MetroLink St. Clair County extension in East St. Louis. Systematic trenching established a boundary for a small portion of this buried site. The survey also revealed an association between sandy or silty soils and Mississippian occupation and no evidence for occupation of areas with clayey soils. Comparing these findings with those of the subsequent data-recovery investigations shows that systematic sampling is effective for detecting buried prehistoric deposits in East St. Louis, but it is less useful for characterizing such deposits and predicting their distribution across landforms.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)173-206
Number of pages34
JournalIllinois Archaeology: Journal of the Illinois Archaeology Survey
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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