Millstone Bluff

Millstone Bluff is a natural bluff in Pope County, Illinois, United States, located near the community of Glendale. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its archaeological significance, Millstone Bluff is one of three National Register sites in Pope County, along with the Golconda Historic District and part of the Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site.[1]

The bluff is home to a prehistoric Native American settlement used by Mississippian cultures. The settlement site is little more than depressions sitting atop the bluff, which lies within the Shawnee National Forest. The United States Forest Service controls an interpretive trail to the site.[4] Aside from the remains of the Mississippian settlement, the bluff contains a prehistoric stone box cemetery, a rock art site, and a Late Woodland stone fort.[3]

Petroglyphs at this site include two thunderbirds, pipes, axes, a spider-like creature, turkey tracks, a humanoid form, and the cross and circle motif common to other petroglyph sites in southern Illinois.

Millstone Bluff 3

Early American settlers used the bluff as a millstone quarry.

Millstone Bluff 4

Petroglyph site on the northeast edge of the bluff

Millstone Bluff
Millstone Bluff 1
Soil depressions indicate the location of houses
LocationIllinois Route 147 west of its junction with Illinois Route 145[2]
Nearest cityGlendale, Illinois
Coordinates37°28′1″N 88°41′17″W / 37.46694°N 88.68806°WCoordinates: 37°28′1″N 88°41′17″W / 37.46694°N 88.68806°W
Area418 acres (169 ha)
Builtc. 1492-1540[3]
NRHP reference #73000716[1]
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1973

See also


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Zdzieblowski, Arthur. National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Millstone Bluff. National Park Service, n.d., 4.
  3. ^ a b Archaeology at Millstone Bluff, Shawnee National Forest, U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved January 22, 2007.
  4. ^ Millstone Bluff, Shawnee National Forest, U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved January 22, 2007.

External links

Earth/fertility cult

The Earth/fertility Mississippian cult was associated with earthen platform mounds.The act of rebuilding the mounds, of adding additional layers of earth over burials, served as a symbol of renewal, which renewed the earthwork as much as human life. The earthen platform served as the earth, a symbolism which endured into historic times. There are historically documented connections between additions to platforms mounds and the communal "Green Corn Ceremony", which celebrated the new harvest and the fertility of the earth. The quadrilateral, flat-topped design of many platform mounds may represent the Southeastern American Indian belief that the earth was a flat surface oriented towards four quarters of the world.

Emerald Mound and Village Site

The Emerald Mound and Village Site (Emerald Site) is a pre-Columbian archaeological site located northwest of the junction of Emerald Mound Grange and Midgley Neiss Roads in St. Clair County, Illinois. The site includes five mounds, two of which have been destroyed by modern activity, and the remains of a village. Middle Mississippian peoples inhabited the village, which was a satellite village of Cahokia. The largest of the mounds is a two-tiered structure that stands 50 feet (15 m) high; its square base is 300 feet (91 m) across, while its upper tier is 150 feet (46 m) across. At the time of its discovery, the mound was the second-largest known in Illinois after Monks Mound at Cahokia.The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 26, 1971.

Flowery Mound

Flowery Mound is an archaeological site in Tensas Parish, Louisiana with components from the Late Coles Creek and Plaquemine-Mississippian culture which dates from approximately 950–1541.

Golconda Historic District

The Golconda Historic District is a designated historic district in the Pope County, Illinois city of Golconda, along the banks of the Ohio River. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of only three sites in Pope County to be on the Register. The other sites are Millstone Bluff, a prehistoric Mississippian settlement in the Shawnee National Forest, and the Pope County portion of the Kincaid Mounds, a prehistoric city in the Ohio River floodplain. The historic district located along Illinois Route 146 and was added to the Register in 1976.

The Buel House, a historic home built in 1840 and currently owned by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is included within the district.

Hughes Mound Site

The Hughes Mound Site, (3SA11), is an archeological site in Saline County, Arkansas near Benton. The 4.5-acre (1.8 ha) is an important Caddoan Mississippian culture village center, at the northeastern frontier of that civilization. It is the only known platform mound site south of Benton on the Saline River. The site has not been dated, but artifacts found there are consistent with the Caddoan period; no contact-period artifacts have been found.The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 for its potential to yield information in the future.

Jere Shine Site

The Jere Shine Site (1MT6) is an archaeological site near the confluence of the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers in modern Montgomery County, Alabama. Based on comparison of archeological remains and pottery styles, scholars believe that it was most likely occupied from 1400–1550 CE by people of the South Appalachian Mississippian culture (a regional variation of the Mississippian culture). In addition to its Mississippian-era Shine I-phase, it is the largest settlement associated with the Shine II-phase of the lower Tallapoosa River. The 35-acre (14.2 ha) site contains five platform mounds and numerous shell middens. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 8, 1978.

Julice Mound

Julice Mound is an archaeological site in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana with a Plaquemine culture component dating to 1200–1541 CE and located less than one mile from Transylvania Mounds.


The Koroa were one of the groups of indigenous people who lived in the Mississippi Valley prior to the European settlement of the region. They lived in the northwest of present-day Mississippi in the Yazoo River basin.

Larson Site

The Larson Site is a prehistoric archaeological site in Fulton County, Illinois, near the city of Lewistown. The site was the location of a Mississippian town and was occupied during the 13th and 14th centuries. The town was one of seven major town sites in the central Illinois River valley and served as a social and economic center for surrounding villages and farms. The artifacts uncovered at the site have been well-preserved and include both organic remains and intact homes, providing significant archaeological evidence regarding the Mississippian way of life.The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 21, 1978.

Mandeville Site

The Mandeville Site (9CY1) is an archaeological site in Clay County in southwest Georgia in the United States. The site now lies under the Walter F. George Reservoir, which is a part of the Chattahoochee River basin.

McMahan Mound Site

The McMahan Mound Site (40SV1), also known as McMahan Indian Mound, is an archaeological site located in Sevierville, Tennessee just above the confluence of the West Fork and the Little Pigeon Rivers in Sevier County.

Mill Creek chert

Mill Creek chert is a type of chert found in Southern Illinois and heavily exploited by members of the Mississippian culture (800 to 1600 CE). Artifacts made from this material are found in archaeological sites throughout the American Midwest and Southeast. It is named for a village and stream near the quarries, Mill Creek, Illinois and Mill Creek, a tributary of the Cache River. The chert was used extensively for the production of utilitarian tools such as hoes and spades, and for polished ceremonial objects such as bifaces, spatulate celts and maces.

Owl Creek Mounds

The Owl Creek Mounds are a Native American Ceremonial Complex located in Mississippi's Tombigbee National Forest. The mounds are believed to have been built between 800 and 900 years ago during the Mississippian era. Archaeological excavations from 1991-1992 by crews from Mississippi State University led by Janet Rafferty revealed structural remains on three of the mounds at the site.

Routh Mounds

Routh Mounds is a Plaquemine culture archaeological site in Tensas Parish, Louisiana. It is the type site for the Routh Phase(1200 to 1350 CE) of the Tensas Basin Plaquemine Mississippian chronology. It is located approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of the Winter Quarters State Historic Site.

Sacred bundle

A sacred bundle or a medicine bundle is a wrapped collection of sacred items, held by a designated carrier, used in Indigenous American ceremonial cultures.

According to Patricia Deveraux, a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Alberta, "These are holy bundles given to us by the Creator to hold our people together... They're the same as the relics from the Catholic Church. They are a demonstration of the holy spirit. They can heal people."

Sleeth Site

The Sleeth Site is an archaeological site located near Liverpool in Fulton County, Illinois. The side encompasses a 10-acre (4.0 ha) village area including a sizable midden. The site was occupied by people of the Spoon River Culture, a local culture within the Middle Mississippian culture; it is the only known site within the Sleeth Phase of the culture and has been dated to 1500 A.D. Cultural artifacts recovered from the site include a large number of projectile points and pottery shards from jars, plates, and bowls.The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 17, 1979.

Transylvania Mounds

Transylvania Mounds is an archaeological site in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana with components from the Coles Creek (700–1200)CE and Plaquemine/Mississippi periods (1200–1541). It is the type site for the Transylvania Phase (1500-1680 CE) of the Tensas Basin Plaquemine Mississippian chronology.

Turk Site

The Turk Site (15CE6) is a Mississippian culture archaeological site located near Bardwell in Carlisle County, Kentucky, on a bluff spur overlooking the Mississippi River floodplain.

Velda Mound

Velda Mound (8LE44) is a Native American archaeological site located in northern Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida, United States. The site was first occupied by peoples of the Fort Walton Culture (a regional variation of the Mississippian culture) in the late prehistoric period and during the protohistoric period was part of the extensive Apalachee Province of the panhandle. The site is now owned by the State of Florida and managed as a park.

South Appalachian
Fort Walton culture
Pensacola culture
Upper Mississippian
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