The Loyd Site: An Early Terminal–Late-Woodland Village in Madison County, Illinois (AD 900–950)

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


This volume examines the results of excavations at the Loyd site (11MS20), a Terminal Late Woodland (TLW) I and early Mississippian settlement located on a terrace at the base of the eastern bluffs in Madison County, Illinois and includes not only a full report of the 2003–2004 investigations, which revealed one of the largest known excavated Loyd phase occupations, but it also uses that assemblage to evaluate the accuracy of the Loyd phase designation. These excavations were conducted by the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) and a field school from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign prior to the proposed construction of a housing development. The excavations uncovered a large TLW I Loyd phase community, which consisted of 243 structure, pit, hearth, post pit, post mold, and midden features and associated ceramic, lithic, faunal, and botanical material. Three Mississippian features and their associated remains were also identified and excavated. These excavations provided vital data on everyday life and communal activities at this site during the TLW I period. Overall, the village was inhabited by several kin or social groups (evident through the presence of courtyard groups), probably for several decades (based on feature superpositioning). The presence of smoking pipes, discoidals, gaming pieces, special seeds, and minerals in features surrounding courtyards indicates that communal activities and ceremonies likely took place within the courtyards, presumably to build unity among community members. Unlike other large TLW villages, however, pottery evidence suggests that few outside visitors participated in these activities. These excavations are also important because they provided a way to evaluate the taxonomic status of the TLW I Loyd phase since the phase was defined based on previously recovered material from this site that was never fully reported.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationChampaign
PublisherIllinois State Archaeological Survey
Number of pages286
ISBN (Print)9781930487598
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameISAS Research Report


  • ISAS


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