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Iliniwek Village State Historic Site [MO]

On a high sand terrace above the Des Moines River floodplain in northeast Missouri sets Iliniwek Village State Historic Site, the largest and best preserved remnant known of any Illinois Indian village. This site was occupied from ca. A.D. 1640-1683, when Europeans were just contacting Native Americans in this region. During excavations in the 1990s, the locations of numerous houses, storage pits and even a ditch and palisade fortification were discovered. The Illinois Indians were the first Native Americans that Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette encountered in present-day Missouri in 1673. At that time, the village contained 300 lodges and perhaps 8,000 people. Evidence of early European contact appears in archaeological finds through glass beads, metal objects, and Jesuit trade rings. The historic site interprets the history and daily life of the Illinois Indians and the Jolliet and Marquette expedition of 1673. A short walking trail crosses the site, and the location of an excavated Illinois Indian longhouse is marked to show its size.

The site offers exhibits, tours, and occasional recreational and educational events.