Archaeology in Southern Illinois
With topics that include southern Illinois’ indigenous past, a covert military encampment built to invade Spanish-held territory farther south, or its communities’ suspected ties to the Underground Railroad, to name a few, there are plenty of opportunities here for learners to uncover the region’s secrets that lie just beneath the surface.
Banner Stones and Indigenous Hunting Places in Southern Illinois
A key ingredient to hunting practices past and present. In this lesson, students learn how indigenous cultures used this ingenious innovation as an essential counterbalance weight, which allowed its users to stay poised for long periods of time before they struck their prey with an atlatl spear.
High-Stakes Games with Indigenous Chunkey Stones in Southern Illinois
Part bowling, part target practice. This indigenous game was popular, competitive, and even deadly as players wagered their possessions and even family members to beat their opponents. In this lesson, students identify what and how indigenous cultures used this carved stone in a high-stakes game of skill and luck.
The Mysterious Hopewell Figurine in Indigenous Southern Illinois
The Hopewell culture is not known to have existed in southern Illinois. So why was this figuring found here? In this lesson, students explore the meaning behind the discovery of this mysterious artifact.
Medicine Bottles in Antebellum Southern Illinois
Artifacts, or what archaeologists call “material culture,” found in an old trash pit can reveal a lot about a community’s daily practices, customs, and beliefs. In this lesson, students explore the meaning behind ordinary glass bottles found in and around Carrier Mills, Illinois.
African American Communities and the Underground Railroad in Southern Illinois
Written documents can have their limits, which is why sources such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps, oral histories, and artifacts can offer more insights about the past. In this lesson, students have the opportunity to explore newspaper articles, GIS maps, and artifacts to piece together clues about African American communities and the Underground Railroad in southern Illinois.