Hawkins Hollow (11MO855) is a prehistoric site located south of St. Louis in southwestern Illinois along the base of the American Bottom bluffs in western Monroe County. The site first came to the attention of the professional archaeological community in 1990 during archaeological survey investigations for a nearby county road project. Further archaeological investigations at this site were warranted when a new roadway was proposed as a northern access route for the Village of Valmeyer, which was relocated to an upland setting south of the site as a result of the calamitous flood of 1993. Phase I–III investigations for this project were conducted from 1995 through 1996 by ISAS personnel and resulted in the exposure of a late Mississippian Sand Prairie phase structure and an associated midden. The structure had been rebuilt once and then had burned, leaving behind an array of artifacts on the structure’s floor. Lithic tools were present in quantity and included large artifacts as well as numerous microliths. The ceramic assemblage and radiocarbon assays provided support for the Sand Prairie phase affiliation. Because the entire site was not exposed due to project limits, the true nature and extent of the Sand Prairie phase occupation is not known. It may have been just a small family farmstead, but it is possible that a larger community was present. Sand Prairie phase occupations are far less common than occupations associated with the three earlier defined Mississippian phases in the American Bottom. Thus, the Hawkins Hollow site provides significant information on this little-known cultural and temporal segment of this area of Illinois and the Midwest.
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