Humans In Southern Illinois - Long Before Statehood

Jan 3, 2018

Centuries   before Europeans arrived in Illinois, Native Americans made the state their home.  One expert illustrates just how long southern Illinois has been inhabited.

"Prehistoric occupation of southern Illinois that  goes back ten-thousand years," according to Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Dr. Mark Wagner.  Dr. Wagner is also the Director of the Center for Archaeological Investigations at the University.

To learn more about the work of the Center visit:

The Cahokia Mounds State Historic site near Collinsville Illinois has been heavily researched and offers proof of ancient occupation in Illinois.  This area, commonly known as the American Bottoms, is located near the confluence of several major rivers, which offered early inhabitants many advantages.

"As the river migrated back and forth across the valley, it left behind the former channels that became excellent resources for fish and waterfowl. . .good for agriculture."  Bill Iseminger, Assistant Site Manager at Cahokia Mounds.  For more information about the region, and its legacy visit: