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Archeology: A look at our past along Route 61 in Clark and Lewis Counties



 

Watch the archeology video produced by MoDOT

 

The Avenue of The Saints Site | The Timeline | Native Americans in NE Missouri |Request a Speaker | Video/Photo Gallery | What do Archeologists Do? | Kids Page | Glossary of Archeological Terms

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The Avenue of the Saints project covers approximately 15 miles within Lewis and Clark Counties in Missouri. Prior archaeological investigations for the Lewis County section of the project, covering approximately 6 linear miles, documented numerous archaeological sites containing prehistoric components. In simple terms, maybe as far back as 11,000 years ago people passed through the area and left some of their belongings behind. Since then, many years of rains and floods buried the artifacts in soil deposits of area fields in Lewis and Clark Counties.

What is archaeology? Archaeology is the science of the study of the past as it relates to people. Archaeology is concerned with studying and conserving or saving the physical remains of past cultures. These remains need to be preserved because they are rare and the information that we learn is very valuable. We learn fascinating information about how people adjusted to their living conditions, their art, food, housing, travel patterns, and other interesting information.

Archaeology is not an adventure like you would see in an Indiana Jones movie, although it can be very exciting. Archaeologists have a great love for our heritage, which includes our recent history as well as ancient, prehistoric cultures. Archaeologists are like detectives, searching for clues to reconstruct and understand the lives of ancient peoples. Each clue they find can bring us all closer to a better understanding of how present cultures developed. Clues can be artifacts like stone or bone tools, pottery, or elaborate ornaments. They can be features, like house mounds, hearths, storage pits and depressions, or burials. Even the smallest stone flake, or fragment of animal bone can help tell the archaeologist more about how people lived in the past.

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