The Dillow's Ridge site (11 U635) is a small Mississippian village situated on an unplowed hilltop near the largest known Mill Creek chert quarry in Union County, Illinois. The site was both a permanent residential settlement and a major workshop where Mill Creek chert tools were produced for nonlocal use. Radiocarbon dates document the occupation from the late 1200s A.D. to A.D. 1450 or 1500. The production debris and rejects indicate that the major “export" products were hoes and Ramey knives. Although the quantity of lithic debris on the site is very impressive, estimates of annual production of large biface implements are in the hundreds per year and not thousands. This level of production was easily attained by part-time specialists within a small community without major distortion of normal domestic and food-getting activities. Production and trade of these implements was also not a source of significant prestige or wealth for the producers.
Published in Illinois Archaeology, Volume 13, 2001, pages 57-87.
© 2001 by The Illinois State Archaeological Survey