It’s slow, methodical, dirty work: sifting through piles of dirt, searching for artifacts dating back thousands of years at Rockton’s Macktown Living History Education Center.
Jay Martinez, President of Midwest Archaeological Research Services says, “They are digging on a Native American site dating about a thousand years old, late woodland culture. There’s a lot of prehistoric material out here at Macktown.”
Area college students are spending two weeks working at the site.
Student Sydney Stefanik, from Palatine’s Harper College, says it’s important we stay connected to our past.
“What we’re finding right now is a lot of late Woodland era stuff. And that’s before European settlers. So I think it’s very important that we recognize and we try to get the history of who was here and what they did and how they lived. And just really respect it, you know?”
Martinez says, “We find lots of lithic debitage, remnants of when they were making stone tools. We’re finding ceramics. Pieces of their pottery that’s broken. People have been living here for eight thousand years.”
There are also items from more recent times, like the mid 1830’s. That’s when Stephen Mack and his wife, Mary Hononegah, founded Macktown.
Macktown Living History board member Reid Ferguson says, “The place here was established back in the early 1800’s and then abandoned so that everything is pretty much the way it was, which makes it archeologically and historically really interesting.”
The nicest piece discovered so far during this field study is a knife blade. Every find sparking interest and excitement.
McHenry County College Student Jordan Solis says, “Recovering history and learning about the culture of the people that were once here and the history of the place that is here is amazing and I feel like it should be available to everyone.”
Martinez says, “Just finding something that’s been in the ground for thousands of years…how can you not get excited about it?”
For more information go to www.macktownlivinghistory.com