Rescue archaeological research at Solto Mound (23SC12) was conducted by Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville in 1973. The mound was destroyed in 1978 to build a warehouse. The human remains and artifacts in the mound belong to the Middle Woodland Period (ca. 100 BC to AD 300). This burial mound has traits that are considered "Hopewell."

Mound fill removed and internal features exposed in the Solto Mound. Originally the cone shaped mound was 15 ft. tall, but a century of cultivation had diminished its height to 7 ft. The mound contained a central burial chamber measuring 15 ft. x 9 ft. Logs covered the chamber and a yellow clay cap was placed on top of chamber. Two skulls and other fragmentary human remains were discovered on floor of central chamber. The bones were stained with red ochre and covered by a reed mat. 15 burials were discovered in the mound apron area ( 10 bundle burials and 5 semi-flexed juveniles in SE corner).

Sid Denny (center right) consults with Glenda Moore (center left) during the excavation. Terry Norris (background) uses a sprayer to highlight the features exposed during excavation.



Plan of the Solto Mound features. The central chamber was excavated on 4 July 1973.


Flexed burials of juveniles along the edge of the Solto Mound.


Central burial chamber with profile balk still in place.




Floor of the burial chamber with human remains and the traces of a red ochre stained mat.


Crew photograph taken in 1973.




Larry Kinsella (white t-shirt) helping Glenda Moore excavate in the central burial pit of the mound.




Larry Kinsella (white t shirt, standing) during the excavation of the central burial chamber.


Solto site during excavation. Photograph by Terry Norris. Excavators include Harold Mohrman, Suzie Martini, Dave Martini, Glenda Moore, Joel Abel, Dennis Hammer, Mort Burroughs, Sid Denny, Terry Norris, George Fritz, and Larry Kinsella.




Road and warehouse built upon the site of the Solto Mound.

Click here to go to an index of 3 short video clips taken at the Solto Site during the excavation. Requires Windows Media (will eventually add Quicktime, but not yet)


Many thanks for Larry Kinsella, Terry Norris and Joe Harl for providing slides and digital images used in this webpage.

Webpage created by Michael Fuller on 8 February 2003
Last webpage update on 4 October 2016