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G. Logan Miller

Mentor Department



The purpose of my final project is to answer the following question: Where in Illinois might we expect to discover lost habitation sites that belonged to the Langford Native Americans. This question will be addressed in my research through the pursuit of three main goals. The first research goal is to create a dataset that analyzes the geographic parameters of the Langford habitation sites that we already know of today. The second research goal is to create a map depicting the areas of Illinois that have a higher probability of yielding Langford habitation sites. The third goal is to use the new parameters and map to drastically reduce the land that needs to be searched so that an effective search may become more financially feasible.  Discovered in the early 20th century, the Noble-Wieting archeological site is the remains of a relatively large Native American village/ habitation site located on a plot of private farmland near the Kickapoo Creek in McLean County. This location is important and has been considered somewhat of an anomaly because of its artifacts as well as placement between previously determined territories of two local and potentially hostile tribes. Archeologists excavating the site found a wealth of material remains; though oddly enough they show distinct characteristics resembling the manufacturing techniques and lifestyle practices of both the Mississippian and Langford Tribes. While analyzing and archiving these artifacts, I was able to distinguish a single pottery sherd that exhibits both the Langford grit-tempered pottery style and the Mississippian shell-tempered pottery style. Upon further analysis performed by Dr. Logan Miller, it was determined that the two pottery styles were layered one over the other; indicating the possibility that the site was co-inhabited..   This speculation is important for two reasons. One reason being that researchers have been wondering whether or not Noble-Wieting was a standalone Langford village; and the other reason being whether or not this was the site where two rival cultures began to merge. Either of these possibilities implies that Noble-Wieting must be a part of a larger support network to exist so far into what was previously believed to be uninhabited territory.   This larger support network would require the existence of many more Langford settlements and villages; implying that they had a much more widespread community and presence in Illinois. If this were proven as true, it would help to uncover a large piece of America's lost history.

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