Conservancy Preserves in the Midwestern Region include:
The Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz Great Mound Preserve qualifies as the third largest Adena burial mound. It is believed to have been built during the period of about 800 B.C. to 200 A.D. when these moundbuilders dominated the Ohio Valley. They were the first people to build large burial mounds for their elite dead. Elaborate grave goods including stone figurines, carved tablets and jewelry are often found in the mounds. It is assumed that the huge Adena mounds like the Great Mound were built over a long period of time.
The Hopewell site was in use from about 300 B.C. to 500 A.D., serving as the major civic-ceremonial center of the Chillicothe Hopewell focus. The quantity and quality of grave goods already recovered from Hopewell indicate that it was of utmost importance to the pre-historic people of the area. One of the most striking characteristics of major Hopewell sites are the massive earthworks that remain as much of a mystery today as when the first Europeans discovered them. This work consists of a large D-shaped and a smaller square earthworks, containing at least 30 mounds. It is now part of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.
The Biesterfeldt site is the only sizable village site on the Sheyenne River, and the trade goods recovered from it date it to the mid- to late eighteenth century, the time when ethnographic and documentary evidence place the Cheyenne there. The preserve was an important settlement of the Cheyenne during their transformation from a settled horticultural society of the Eastern Woodlands to a society of equestrian bison-hunters of the Plains.
The Bodie Circle archaeological site, an example of an Adena Culture “sacred circle,” consists of a ditch and earthen wall about 120 feet in diameter. The ditch is about four feet deep and the wall four feet high. A causeway about six feet across spans the ditch and wall and connects to the circle’s interior. The interior may contain a low earthen mound. The circle is placed on a prominent point overlooking Silver Creek in Madison County.
The John Chapman Archaeological Preserve is one of the premier late prehistoric sites in the upper Midwest. This region has proven to have one of the clearest examples of contact between the indigenous Late Woodland cultures of the upper Midwest and the more elaborate Mississippian Culture of the greater Southeast. This parcel was a substantial Mississippian “temple town” with a pyramidal platform mound, two conical mounds, and a village area surrounding the plaza.
The La Saline archaeological site possesses a series of occupations near a natural salt spring south of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. In the late seventeenth century, French colonists established their first settlement west of the Mississippi at Ste. Genevieve. Surviving documents indicate that by the late 1690s, La Saline had become an important source of salt; by the 1750s, its salt was such a vital part of the French colonial economy that it was declared an official medium of exchange and was used as currency. If Lewis and Clark bought salt in St. Louis for their 1803 journey, it would have come from La Saline.
The Samels Farm includes three important archaeological sites covering the PaleoIndian, Archaic and Late Woodland periods. The parcel is remarkable in that it is horizontally stratified rather than vertically stratified as with most North American archaeological sites. The horizontal stratification is the result of glacial rebound, a phenomenon that occurs when the tremendous weight of the glaciers is removed as they recede.
Silver Mound is a rare quarry site that was an important regional source of raw materials for tool manufacturing. The site is a steep-sided, V-shaped geological formation of standstone covering nearly 2,000 acres. The unique quality of the feature is the presence of a hard surface quartzite, unusually durable and easily accessible. The quartzite appeared to have made Silver Mound like a magnet to prehistoric people who were reliant on stone tools.