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200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Exploring the community of Noble-Wieting: a 700-year-old Native American village in McLean County

Saturday, February 8
Starts at 1:15 PM

McLean County Museum of History
200 N. Main St, Bloomington IL 61701

Exploring the community of Noble-Wieting:  a 700-year-old Native American village in McLean County

During the Mississippian period (1000-1400 AD), the largest prehistoric North American city existed right here in Illinois. The rise and fall of Cahokia reverberated throughout eastern North America, resulting in many population movements and new ways of life in the region. Archaeologists refer to the new lifeways in northern Illinois at this time as the Langford Tradition. While most major Langford sites occur along the upper Illinois River and the Chicagoland area, one site that does not fit the pattern is the village of Noble-Wieting in McLean County. Thus the Museum is pleased to welcome back Dr. Logan Miller, assistant professor of anthropology at Illinois State University, who will present a program about the most recent archaeological findings at the Noble-Wieting site this past summer 2019. The program will be held on Saturday, February 8 at 1:15 p.m. in the Museum’s Governor Fifer Courtroom and is free and open to the public.

Since the early 1900s archaeologists have puzzled over the site’s anomalous nature. Was Noble-Wieting a trading outpost, set up by Langford peoples to access Mississippian goods or ideas? Was it a refuge, established by Langford peoples but accepting disaffected Mississippians? Or was it an example of ethnogenesis, a new cultural entity emerging from the interaction of two or more disparate groups?

The findings by Illinois State University and the Illinois State Archaeological Survey during the past three summers of archaeological excavation at Noble-Wieting have provided a glimpse into what was probably McLean County’s largest community during the 1300s AD. As in any community, the inhabitants of Noble-Wieting shared certain similarities, as well as important differences, with their fellow villagers. Fortunately for archaeologists, many of these social dynamics are likely reflected in their houses and possessions. This presentation will provide a comparison of the remains of dwellings and their associated artifacts from different areas of the village to illustrate what is known about life at this unique and important site.

Dr. Logan Miller’s research and publications cover topics related to lithic technology and Midwestern archaeology. He has directed archaeological field schools in Illinois and Ohio.

For more information about this free, public program, please contact the Education Department at 309-827-0428 or education@mchistory.org.