Mound 81

Just south of Mound 64 and the Southern Railroad tracks, Moorehead locates a mound that he numbers 81. He does not refer to it in his publication, his only record of it is on the map. The McAdams Map of 1882 indicates a probable mound in that general location with a height of 10 feet (3.05 meters). There is, however, no way to be sure that this is the same as Moorehead’s Mound 81. It is shown as a roughly oval and about half the size of Mound 64.

Mound 80

Mound 80 on the Moorehead Map of 1923 is numbered 75 on the 1929 map. In textual references to Mound 80 in his various publications, he was apparently also referring to what he later numbered Mound 75 (see discussion above of Mound 75). However, on his 1929 map, he shows a mound numbered 80 between the railroad tracks and Mound 64. It is shown as a small, circular mound, and the nature of the drafting indicates that it was added after the map’s completion. The only indication we have of Mound 80 is on this map. Moorehead’s number is retained on the UWM Map; perhaps some other confirming evidence for this mound can be found in the future.

Mound 79

Moorehead’s 1929 map shows Mound 79, which he named the Mackie Mound, located north of Cahokia Creek and north of Mounds 44 and 45; it forms the apex of a triangle with the latter two. This mound was not located on the Patrick Map, and locating Mound 79 on other maps is a problem. Moorehead’s map of 1929 provides some clue to its location of by his placement of the Cahokia Canal crossing the channel of Cahokia Creek, which is also mapped by Patrick, just west of Mound 79. However, Moorehead’s configuration is different from the present positions of the canal and creek. Therefore, Moorehead probably mismapped the meander pattern of Cahokia Creek, and his location of Mound 79 relative to the creek is suspect.

Moorehead also omitted the Alton and Southern Railroad tracks that cut north-south through the site just to the west of Patrick’s location of Mound 45. The railroad was present in Moorehead’s time; it clearly appears on the 1922 Goddard-Ramey photographs. One can assume that Moorehead, in making his sketch map, confused the location of the railroad with the location of Sand Prairie Lane, therefore compressing the scale of the western half of the site. That would have been the result of his misinterpretation of Mound 46 as the Powell Mound. The configuration of the canal Moorehead shows resembles its configuration west of the Alton and Southern Railroad more than it does its configuration near Sand Prairie Lane. If Moorehead did confuse Sand Prairie Lane with the railroad tracks, then Mound 79 should be to the west of the Alton and Southern Railroad.

A closed contour on the USGS maps suggests a mound on the north side of Cahokia Creek to the northeast of Patrick’s Mound 46. The area is now partially covered by Interstate 55-70. Aerial photos, field reconnaissance, and plotting of the location as indicated by the USGS maps suggest that the mound is in the embankment of Interstate 55-70 but partially exposed. At exactly that location, remnants of a mound cut through by the ditch bordering the northern edge of the interstate can be seen. I propose that this is the location of Moorehead’s Mound 79, a location further confirmed by Moorehead’s description that the mound was “about one and one-fourth miles west of Monks Mound and is on the bank of old Cahokia Creek” (Moorehead 1929: 55).

Its roughly T-shaped form also conforms to Moorehead’s description. It is the only mound on his map that he shows with this unique form. Moorehead said that it was 130 feet (39.6 meters) north-south with a long, low platform 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) in height extending about 150 feet (45.7 meters) to the east. There is a mound shown in approximately this location on the McAdams Map of 1882 that he gives a height of 15 feet (4.6 meters). The only other map to show this mound is Moorehead’s of 1929, and his description suggests it was 10 feet (3.05 meters) high at that time.

Moorehead’s description of Mound 79 is brief, and it follows in its entirety:

Mackie Mound, Number 79—This is about one and one-fourth miles west of Monks Mound and is on the bank of old Cahokia Creek. It is covered by a heavy oak grove, has never been plowed, and is about one hundred thirty feet north and south and ten feet high. It is surrounded on three sides by a swamp and there is a long low platform, or apron, extending about 150 feet to the east. This platform varies from three to five feet high. A trench was extended a distance of about thirty feet in the mound down to within a few feet of the base line, then the post augers were brought into service. Numbers of pits were sunk three or four feet in depth. With the exception of a few scales of flint or chert and one pottery fragment, absolutely nothing was found. The mound was composed of the hardest kind of buckshot gumbo, with no sign of stratification. It is clear that no village existed at the point from whence the earth was taken to build this mound as there are no broken artifacts to be observed in to the soil. [Moorehead 1929: 5556]

Mound 78

Mound 78 is also known as the Jondro Mound. In the 1923 map, Moorehead shows a mound to the southwest of Mound 46 that he numbers 83. It is obvious that, in this period, Moorehead confused what Patrick had number ed Mound 46 with the Powell Mound, which in fact was a large mound much further to the west. On the 1929 map, Mound 83 is near Mound 66, but the mound he had numbered 83 in 1923 is numbered 78. There is further confusion in Moorehead’s publication of 1929 (pages 51 and 52) in that he refers to the Jondro Mound as Mound 86, whereas he has no number 86 listed on any of his maps. His highest number on any map is 85. Because all of Moorehead’s maps show a mound southwest of Mound 46, I assume that 78 and 83 are the same mound and use his last number,78, for this mound. The only clue that Moorehead gives us as to its location is that “it lies nearly a mile and half west of Monks Mound” (Moorehead 1929: 51). It is Moorehead’s supposition that the mound was originally conical but was diminished by cultivation. Its height at Moorehead’s time varied between 4 and 6 feet (1.2 and 1.8 meters).

In his map of the unnumbered mounds of the Powell group (Mounds 84, 85, 86, and 87 on the UWM Map), Patrick shows a mound southeast of the Powell area. The 1931 USGS compilation map shows a mound in the same location, undoubtedly Moorehead’s Jondro Mound. It is still visible today, although it is not apparent as a distinct contour on the 1966 UWM Map. I am not sure that the mound labeled 78 on the UWM Map is indeed the Jondro Mound, but because so much confusion surrounds its location the 1929 numbering is retained.

Moorehead cut a north-south trench through the mound, and another trench at the south end extended 20 feet (6.1 meters) in a northwest direction. Twenty-four whole burials and fragmentary remains, enough to account for 16 or 17 more burials, were found (Moorehead 1929: 51). There was a smaller mound covered by the north end of Mound 78. Nothing was found in the smaller mound; the burials were apparently placed in the fill over it. Fragments of a pottery vessel, the only artifact recovered from the mound, were found at the head of one burial. At the opposite end of Mound 78, a pit about 6 feet (1.8 meters) deep was found with a skull in it. It may have been an offertory pit, or perhaps it was a post pit similar to that found in Mound 72.

Moorehead provided other information to more precisely locate Mound 78: “About two hundred feet north of the mound is a depression from which earth and gumbo were taken for this mound: a similar one lies one hundred seventy-five feet south of the mound” (Moorehead 1929: 52).

Mound 77

On Moorehead’s 1929 map, four mounds-39, 77, 40, and 41-form a line paralleling the west edge of Monks Mound. Mound 77 is Moorehead’s addition to this alignment, with 39, 40, and 41 previously noted clearly on the Patrick and other maps. Moorehead states:

Just south of No. 39 is a small mound (No. 77), on the slope of which, down 2 feet, was discovered a small bowl-like mass of hard, burnt clay. Although broken somewhat, it appeared to be circular in form, about 20 inches in diameter, or 36 inches around the curvature. No complete measurement could be made, yet the rim was well defined. In the cavity, where the base should have been was a large lump of galena blackened by fire, also some pulverized galena. The lump weighed fully 8 pounds and the powdered galena was about a quart in quantity. There was a pottery bowl, 7 or 8 inches in diameter, and three inches high, with this deposit, and a shallow dish very flat, like a plate, of rather thick clay, also an oval stone on which were distinct markings or lines. There were several ordinary hammer stones, and a small jar, almost crucible like. This is dark brown, well made, stands about 4 inches in height, and the base is unusually thick and heavy. The jar is shown in. [Moorehead 1929: 39-40]

In his 1923 report, Moorehead describes the investigations in this area:

For a number of days, the men probed the area lying between Mounds 23 and 43 east and west and 20 and 62 north and south… These probes indicated burials… on the southern slope of Mound 39, and in Mound 82 [77]… We think a long, low platform existed between the Sawmill Mound and the one to the south [77]… Probably a low mound (82) [77] adjoined it. [Moorehead 1923: 12-14]

Mound 77 was probably connected to Mound 39 by a platform or terrace. Mound 39 is a platform and 77 is possibly a conical or ridge-top mound. This relationship is similar to other paired mounds at the site, such as Mounds 59 and 60.

The map data are not clear on the shape of Mound 77 as it does not appear on the Patrick Map. It is located and first assigned a number on Moorehead’s 1923 map. The shape indicated by Moorehead is not very clear, but he may have intended to show it as a small, conical mound. Two previous maps show what may be Mound 77. The Ramey Map is the only other map besides Moorehead’s 1923 and 1929 maps to show two mounds between 39 and 41. On the Ramey Map, an oval mound is positioned just south of 39 with its long axis in a northeast-southwest orientation. The Thomas Map of 1894 has a small, oval mound 5 feet (1.5 meters) in height in the location proposed for Mound 77. This mound is oriented with the long axis east-west. It is probably Mound 77.

Burials were indicated for both the Sawmill Mound (39) and Mound 77. The positioning of these burials is not altogether clear from Moorehead’s writings. However, it appears that many of the burials in Mound 39 were on the south slope, that is, toward Mound 77. On the north slope of Mound 77 was found the clay-lined circular pit described above. Included in the pit was an 8-pound (3.6 kilogram) piece of galena, some pottery vessels, and hammer stones. This could have been an offertory basin dedicated to the burials on the south side of the Sawmill Mound. Moorehead’s report on testing these mounds by probing suggested burials in Mound 77, whereas his description of the later excavations do not describe any burials.

Mound 76

A small, square mound, located on the old bank of Cahokia Creek just north of Mound 42, is another of the mounds note first by Moorehead.

In the McAdams Map of 1882 there is a mound indicated in this general area but no height is given. In the Peterson-McAdams Map of 1906, a mound seemingly located much further north of Mound 42, but perhaps intended to represent this mound, is given a height of 4 feet (1.2 meters). The only reference to excavation in Mound 76 is by Moorehead (1923: 47), but he is probably referring to what Patrick numbered Mound 56.

Nearby, the Illinois State Museum conducted excavations in Tract 15B before Sand Prairie Lane was moved in conjunction with interstate highway construction. One of the features found in this excavation was a large, walled compound with circular rooms on its perimeter. Only a portion of the compound was found.

That the compound is located within a plaza strongly indicates that it may have been square, in which case three of the corners would have mounds equidistant from them: Mound 42 to the southwest, 41 to the southeast, and 39 to the northeast. Mound 76 is slightly farther south than it should be to complete this pattern on the northwest corner. The deciding factor in its placement most likely was the proximity of a swamp, which prevented the erection of Mound 76 farther to the north (Wittry and Vogel 1962: 28).

Moorehead also makes reference to archaeological finds in this area:

A copper serpent was found by a boy on the surface not far from Mound No. 76 in the summer of 1922. This serpent effigy was some four or five inches long, composed of thin sheet copper with no filigree work. We were unable to secure this object for the university collection. [Moorehead 1929: 90]

This sounds suspiciously similar to the copper artifact supposedly found in Mound 59 (see discussion of Mound 59) and may merely be a confusion in numbering on Moorehead’s part in describing this artifact. In his 1923 map Moorehead assigns the number 76 to Patrick’s Mound 56, the Jesse Ramey Mound. This is close to Mound 59, where the copper serpent was most probably found.