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Fisher Mound Group
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Location in Will County, Illinois, near the point where the Kankakee and Des Plaines Rivers combine to form the Illinois River

The Fisher Mound Group is a group of burial mounds with an associated village site located on the DesPlaines River near its convergence with the Kankakee River where they combine to form the Illinois River, in Will County, Illinois, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago. It is a multi-component stratified site representing several Prehistoric Upper Mississippian occupations as well as minor Late Woodland and Early Historic components.

The site contains a total of 12 burial mounds, the main ones being the Big East Mound and the Big West Mound. Around the mounds are 50 house pits.

History of archaeological investigations

George Langford, a mechanical engineer, located the site and excavated it for several years, eventually bringing it to the attention of the archaeological world. According to Langford, he first visited the site in 1898 and by 1906-1907 he was excavating on a small scale with the assistance of Howard Calmer.

In 1922 the site began to be impacted by farming activities and Langford realized the loss of information that was taking place. This spurred him into large-scale excavations with his associate Albert Tennik, starting in 1924. In 1927 Langford issued the first site report. After Langford's work, additional excavations took place under the auspices of the University of Chicago and the WPA.


The Fisher site, which was first excavated over a century ago, was one of the first Upper Mississippian sites in Illinois to be investigated intensively by archaeologists. The stratified deposits present at the site aided in the development of a timeline for cultural timeline of the region. As a result, subsequent excavations at Upper Mississippian sites in the American Midwest were often analyzed through the typological framework developed at Fisher. Comparisons with other sites have helped archaeologists define the cultural identity of the Fisher and Langford Traditions and how they relate temporally and spatially with other Upper Mississippian cultures such as Huber and Oneota.

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