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Living History: The West Ridge Nature Park Archeological Survey

June 15, 2022 @ 6:30 pm 8:00 pm

Archeologists dig at West Ridge Nature Park

Did you know there is an archeological dig in at our very own West Ridge Nature Center? Not much is known about the indigenous peoples who occupied modern-day Chicago, and even less about the Bowmanville area.  What we do know is that the earliest evidence of human activity in Illinois dates back 13,000 years, at the end of the last Ice Age about 1000 years after the formation of the Great Lakes. 

In 2012, before development of the nature center began, the Illinois State Archeological Survey began testing the area. These initial “shovel tests” unearthed fragments of arrowheads, knives, ceramics, and a possible cooking kit.  The Middle to Late Woodland (ca. 150 BCE to 750 CE) site at the nature preserve is likely part of a larger complex of a series of habitations along the Rose Hill Spit, which includes the more well-known Bowmanville site. These sites were occupied hundreds and in some cases potentially thousands of years prior to European settlement of the region.

Join us on Zoom to learn about the dig at the West Ridge Nature Center and other archeological projects in Cook County from Paula Bryant, archeological technician with the Illinois State Archeological Survey. Ms. Bryant will also discuss how the geography and topology of the region affected the formation of villages and trails, and give us a richer understanding of the indigenous peoples who once occupied our neighborhood.

This Living History program is free and open to all. It’s a presentation you won’t want to miss.