Protohistory at the grand village of the Kaskaskia: the Illinois Country on the eve of colony

Robert Mazrim, Kjersti E. Emerson, Madeleine G. Evans, Kristin Hedman, Terrance J. Martin, Michael McCafferty, Illinois State Archaeological Survey

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


The Zimmerman site (11LS13), or the Grand Village of the Illinois, is the largest protohistoric site in Illinois and was home to the Kaskaskia band of the Illinois Confederacy during much of the seventeenth century. Excavations began there in 1947, and the researchers eventually defined the suite of pottery types known as the “Danner Series” that is affiliated with the Illinois. In 2010, the largest archaeological sample from the Zimmerman site, excavated between 1970 and 1972 (and believed lost by the 1990s), was relocated and reexamined. This has resulted in a clearer picture of the mid-seventeenth-century occupation of the site, the nature of traditional technologies at the close of prehistory in the region, and the character of the Illinois’s initial response to imported European goods. The focus of Chapters 1 and 2 is on the seventeenth-century protohistoric and early historic component of “Grid A” at Zimmerman, using the 2010 tabulations and selected secure-context samples as their bases. Chapter 3 presents a refined type/variety taxonomy for Danner Series ceramics. Chapter 4 is a reexamination of the lithic industry associated with the seventeenth-century Illinois at Grid A. Chapter 5 presents a feature-based overview of faunal remains from the 1970–1971 excavations at Grid A. Chapter 6 discusses human remains and burial programs from across the site. A summary of the late prehistoric Huber phase ceramics and associated lithic industries from “Grid B” at Zimmerman is presented in Chapter 7. A linguistic context for the protohistoric-era activities of the Illinois is provided in Chapter 8. Chapter 9 includes comparative protohistoric samples from three additional sites in the Illinois Country. Chapter 10 presents a brief summary of the nature of technological change and Illinois identity as expressed in stone, clay, and brass at the Grand Village of the Kaskaskia.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationUrbana, Illinois
PublisherIllinois State Archaeological Survey, University of Illinois
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameISAS Studies in Archaeology v. 10


  • ISAS


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