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Archaeologists hunt history in Cook County forest preserves

Monday, July 20, 2015
Chicago Tribune
by Barbara Brotman

Screening soil
Field technican Halley McLean, 23, screens soil for artifacts July 16, 2015, at an archaeological site in a Cook County forest preserve in the south suburbs.

 

Indiana Jones can have Egypt. This band of archaeological surveyors has the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

And the other day they were making their swashbuckling way through a south suburban preserve, battling mosquitoes and underbrush, as they searched for artifacts of human habitation.

The sharp piece of rock one field technician screened from a shovel of soil?

Pete Geraci, staff archaeologist with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, examined it.

It was pointy. And it was chert, a kind of stone commonly used by indigenous peoples to make tools.

But it was just a pointy piece of chert.

However, the item Halley McLean, another field technician, had found earlier?

Bingo. An unfinished projectile point — a point that had broken while it was being made, and was discarded.


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