People have inhabited the vast prairies and woodlands of Illinois for thousands of years.
The Mississippian Tradition was one characterized by mound building, fortified towns, heavy reliance on maize (corn) cultivation, and a rigid social system where status was inherited.
Mississippians were very resourceful, transforming stone, wood, and bone into a variety of tools. Often these materials were utilized in their natural form with little modification.
The artifacts displayed here were excavated from the only known Mississippian village in McLean County. Located north of Heyworth in Randolph township, the Noble-Wieting site and its artifacts predate the arrival of the Kickapoo people.
Seven hundred years ago the Mississippian culture faded. The descendants of the Mississippians and other prehistoric people, known as the Woodland groups, were the Native people that Europeans first encountered here.