The Janey B. Goode Site (11S1232): highlights of investigations at a massive Late Prehistoric site in the American Bottom

Joseph M. Galloy

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Recent archaeological investigations for a new Mississippi River bridge in southwestern Illinois have uncovered a large prehistoric settlement known as the Janey B. Goode site (11S1232). This massive (6 ha) site is buried under historic-period fill in a rail yard near Brooklyn, Illinois, and it is unusually well preserved. Although Janey B. Goode was first settled during the Late Woodland Patrick phase (A.D. 650-900), the most intensive occupations span the Terminal Late Woodland (A.D. 900-1050) and Mississippian (A.D. 1050-1400) periods. The Illinois State Archaeological Survey, funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, recently completed six years of investigations at this site. This work resulted in the excavation of approximately 7,000 features, a record high number for an individual site in the American Bottom and very likely the entire country. This article provides a brief overview of the investigations and highlights some of the most noteworthy discoveries. The latter include evidence for (1) Terminal Late Woodland pottery that parallels the earliest ceramic phases in the southern American Bottom and which will thus require revision of the ceramic sequence for the northern American Bottom; (2) ditching and possible land reclamation associated with the Terminal Late Woodland occupation, which demonstrate a greater degree of community planning and labor mobilization than has been previously demonstrated for this period; (3) the use of domesticated dogs as sacrificial victims, pack animals, and possibly as food; (4) the importation of exotics from the Gulf Coast, which started during the early Terminal Late Woodland period and reached its peak during the Mississippian period; and (5) numerous everyday objects that do not normally survive the forces of decay, such as bone tools and body ornaments, pieces of fabric, and a very large sample of (dog) coprolites.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529--552
JournalIllinois Archaeology: Journal of the Illinois Archaeology Survey
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


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