Glacial till chert

Lenville J. Stelle, Thomas P. Duggan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glacial till chert (GTC) is a common lithic resource in east-central Illinois. Archaeologists analyzing regional lithic assemblages have long treated GTC as impossible to reliably identify. Beginning with 4,662.9 kg (21,284 lb) of 6.35 cm (2.5 in) or larger gravel extracted from Woodfordian till, 98.1 kg (216 lb) of cobbles rich in silicon dioxide were recovered. The analysis of these siliceous items resulted in the identification of eight dimensions along which GTC could be recognized. Turning to the issue of cultural exploitation, several prehistoric sites and collections were analyzed for GTC. The results indicate that exploitation was extensive and began by at least Folsom times. We conclude by discussing how natural processes and cultural circumstances may have converged to make for highly efficient extraction strategies.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)131-152
Number of pages22
JournalIllinois Archaeology: Journal of the Illinois Archaeology Survey
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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