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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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New Finds From Early St. Louis

Friday, June 30, 2017

St. Louis Founding ArtifactsST. LOUIS, MISSOURI—Archaeologists working in St. Louis have uncovered evidence that contradicts conventional understandings of the city's founding, according to a report by St. Louis Public Radio. A team led by archaeologist Michael Meyer of the Missouri Department of Transportation has conducted excavations ahead of construction on the Poplar Street Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River and connects the city to East St. Louis, in Illinois. They have uncovered evidence, including trade beads, brass goods, and ceramics, of both French and Native settlement in the area prior to 1764, the recorded year of St. Louis' founding by French fur trader Pierre Lacléde. While the region is famed for the Mississipan mound cities that flourished for centuries before the arrival of Europeans, it has been previously accepted that the area of St. Louis was sparsely populated when Lacléde and his followers arrived. To read more about archaeology in Missouri, go to "Digging the Scorched Earth." 

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