THE PALOS SITE The Palos site is located on a sandy terrace over looking the Sag Channel in Cook County, Illinois. Excavations at the site were conducted in 1968 and 1972 as part of the Field Museum’s Summer Science Training program under the supervision of Cheryl Ann Munson and Patrick Munson. Aside from brief summaries, the excavations at the site were not reported.

In 2006, the large artifact assemblage from Palos was reexamined, the results of which were published in the article “Rethinking the Dawn of History: The Schedule, Signature and Agency of European Goods in Protohistoric Illinois” by Robert Mazrim and Duane Esarey, in Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 12(2): 145-200.

The Palos site produced a rich sample of late prehistoric / early protohistoric Huber phase materials from an unreported number of pit features. Of particular interest to the Center was the presence of a significant sample of early brass artifacts and glass beads, as well as Danner series pottery, affiliated with the Illinois Indians. Based on the 2006 study, the European trade goods are now thought to date ca. 1600-1640. These represent some of the earliest known European goods found in the western Great Lakes region. 

European trade-related artifacts from the Palos Site.
A. rolled brass beads. B. strip-brass rings. C. coil brass wire ear or hair ornaments. D. Jesuit-style ring. E. glass beads. F. cut brass scrap (bead blanks?). G. heavy-gauge brass B-wire. H. brass wire fragments. I. flat brass triangle.