Effective immediately, all IDNR-owned properties are closed to the public to help stem the spread of COVID-19. All scheduled events on state property are effectively cancelled; patrons are encouraged to call IDNR’s Parks administrative line Monday through Friday at 217-782-6752 with questions.


Due to COVID-19 and the recommendations of the Governor of Illinois the decision has been made to either cancel or postpone several events. We will continue to post these here and on our Facebook page.

  • March 19 CAS mtg Canceled
  • March 22 Winter Lecture #3 Canceled
  • March 22 Spring Equinox Observance Canceled
  • March 28 Flintknapping Class Canceled
  • April 4 Trivia Night Postponed
  • April 17-19 Art Market Canceled

The health and safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors is important to us. While we are taking added precautions if you are sick please do not come visit the site and if you aren’t sick or showing symptoms please wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

Winter Lecture Series #2

Join us for the second of three in our Winter Lecture Series

Sunday February 9th at 2pm. This is a free event.


Elizabeth Watts Malouchos, Research Scientist at Indiana University’s Glenn Black

Laboratory of Archaeology


Angel Mounds is one of the largest Mississippian mound centers on the northeastern Mississippian frontier. Little is understood about Angel’s relationships with surrounding hinterland communities or with other Mississippian centers in the Midwest. Recent remote-sensing research at Angel and outlying sites suggests aligning residential and mound architecture to the movements of the moon was important for over three centuries and that the broader Angel lunar landscape connected Angel to a Cahokian cosmology and to ancestral Middle Woodland histories.

Beginning Feb 1 IDOT Closes parts of I-255

Beginning February 1 please consult the Illinois Department of Transportation’s website for planned detours while parts of I-255 are closed for a major overhaul.

“While this project will require a complete closure of the interstate to all traffic for one construction season, it enables the project to be completed cheaper, faster and safer.

* Significantly reduces completion time to 10 months, instead of 4 years.
* Saves $14 million.
* Increases worker safety by keeping traffic out of the work zone.
* Reduces accidents by eliminating the need for work zone lane shifts.

The project consists of rehabilitating and resurfacing approximately 7 miles of I-255 from Collinsville Road to Illinois 15 in two sections separated by Interstate 64, with significant bridge repairs, safety improvements and drainage upgrades.  This project will restore the roadway and bridges to a smooth and safe condition for motorists and will support future investment in the region.”

Cahokia Mounds Receives Second NEH Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today that $30.9 million in grants to support 188 humanities projects is awarded to expand access to the country’s wealth of historical resources. Cahokia Mounds Historic Site is among the recipients for the second year. The site is awarded a Digital Projects for the public grant from the NEH in the amount of $250,000 to develop an Augmented Reality (AR) Application and bring pre-Columbian history to life for visitors.

The grant was submitted by the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society (CMMS), the on-site support group at Cahokia Mounds. In 2019, CMMS was awarded a $100,000 Prototype grant to develop a prototype of an Augmented Reality Application. The prototype was developed by Schwartz & Associates Creative, St. Louis, MO. In June 2019, CMMS submitted the prototype and application for the development phase of the project. Both grants are administered by Alie Morgan, Executive Director of the Society, in conjunction with the Site.

“This has been a 5-year project, working closely with the Schwartz team, to develop cutting-edge interpretive pieces at Cahokia Mounds. It is difficult for visitors to visualize what was on the landscape a thousand years ago, a challenge for any archaeological site. This grant will enable us to provide a unique interpretive experience using the newest technologies. Available in 2021, visitors will utilize the camera on any smart device to read a code placed on the landscape. Their device screen will then populate with houses, temples, fires, people, and other features of the Mississippian landscape at around AD 1050, as if it were on the physical landscape before you,” Lori Belknap, Site Superintendent.

Taken from The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Press Release

Winter Lecture Series Begins January 19

Our Winter Lecture Series will begin on January 19 at 2 pm in the auditorium. It will feature Paul Welch, PhD who is the Anthropology Chair at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. The title of his lecture is “Fluorite Workshops and Bead Making at Kincaid Mounds, Illinois.”

Kincaid, contemporary with Cahokia, is a large, multi-mound palisaded town on the Ohio River opposite Paducah, KY. Excavations by SIUC in Kincaid’s Fluorite Workshop area in 2015 and 2016 exposed parts of two buildings where fluorite was fashioned into beads. Fluorite is a crystalline mineral with major sources in southern Illinois. In addition to its use for beads and figurines, fluorite apparently was also used elsewhere at Kincaid and other sites in southernmost Illinois as a means of consecrating large public buildings.

Bill Iseminger Day

Thursday December 19th has been declared Bill Iseminger day this year at Cahokia Mounds. Assistant Site Manager Bill Iseminger will be retiring on December 31st after almost 49 years at Cahokia Mounds. He started his career at Cahokia Mounds fresh out of grad school at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale and never left. He will be talking to visitors and signing copies of his books from 9:30 – 4. He will be giving a presentation for the public at 1 pm discussing his many years at the site and remembering former colleagues and friends. Please join us as we wish him well in retirement. He has promised to come back as a volunteer so it will not be a goodbye. Books will be available for sale in the Gift Shop.

Jingle Hike Challenge 2019

Heartlands Conservancy has included us in their 2019 Jingle Hike which continues through New Year’s Day. There are 12 area sites participating. You will take a picture with the bells hanging on the tree and share via Instagram or Twitter using #jinglehike. On Facebook tag @heartlandsconservancy AND use #jinglehike. Stop by and pick up a map or go to www.heartlandsconservancy.org!

Cahokia Mounds Featured on the History Channel Website

A new article on the History Channel’s website features Cahokia Mounds along with Chaco Canyon as “Bustling Urban Centers.”



Flip Book Gets an Update

2019 Spring Intern Katie Engelmeyer spent her time here updating the Flip Book “Previous Mound Builders.” It was installed yesterday afternoon. Included in the new book are several sites not in the previous flip book. Stop by and learn about Watson Brake, Poverty Point, Grave Creek, Newark, Albany Mounds, Effigy Mounds, and Toltec Mounds. Congratulations on a job well done!

Thanks to Gary Harmon and Rick Riccio from Riccio Exhibit Services for creating such a beautiful exhibit.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Press Release Regarding Native American Holiday Market Days

Illinois Department of Natural Resources                                JB Pritzker, Governor
One Natural Resources Way                                                       Colleen Callahan, Director
Springfield, Illinois 62702-1271                                                   www.dnr.illinois.gov

November 4, 2019

Native American Holiday Market Days at Cahokia Mounds

Dozens of American Indian artists and vendors to sell handmade work Nov. 29-Dec. 1

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – Looking for unique holiday gifts? Need a dose of artistic inspiration? The annual Native American Holiday Market at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site offers both right after Thanksgiving from Friday, Nov. 29 through Sunday, Dec. 1.

Thirty-five Native American artists, craftpersons and vendors will be selling an array of goods at the historic site’s interpretive center. Their work includes paintings, drawings, baskets, beadwork, pottery, sculpture, metal work, wood carvings, feather work, flutes, decorated gourds and jewelry of all types. All items are Indian-made and most reflect some aspect of native culture.

The artisans come from a variety of tribal affiliations, including Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, Potawatomi, Cherokee, Arapaho, Meskwaki, Ho-Chunk, Seminole, Oglala Sioux, Omaha, Odawa, Kiowa, Cayuga, Santo Domingo, Oneida and Abenaki.

Crafts and artwork will be available in all price ranges.

The event runs from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 29-Dec. 1). There will be some demonstrations by the artisans. There is no admission fee, but donations of $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for students and $15 for families are suggested.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is located eight miles from downtown St. Louis in Collinsville, Illinois off Interstates 55-70 (Exit 6) and Interstate 255 (Exit 24) on Collinsville Road. The site is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but is open Wednesday through Sunday.

For more information call 618-344-9221 or go to www.cahokiamounds.org.

City of the Sun 5K Canceled

Just a reminder that the City of the Sun race scheduled for tomorrow November 3rd has been canceled. We look forward to seeing you at next years race which has been tentatively scheduled for November 7th!

New Executive Director Joins CMMS

The new Executive Director of the CMMS is here, help welcome Alie Morgan as she leads the Society in its mission of interpretation and preservation of the Site!

Alie began at Cahokia Mounds in February as a Volunteer and worked through the summer as a Seasonal Interpreter. She was previously an Instructional Aide with the Title I Department of the Collinsville School District. She is a graduate of SIU-E.

Photographic Exhibition by Daniel Seurer

A new photographic exhibition Enduring Earthworks of the Western Great Lakes and Beyond, by Daniel Seurer, will be on display at Cahokia Mounds from September 23 through November 18.

The Enduring Earthworks photographic exhibit explores the long history of mound building in the

Western Great Lakes, and the Mississippi River region.  The photographs show the variety of mounds that were built by many different communities and cultures.  Mound ritual and construction also evolved over time so that each set of mounds represents a particular community at a particular point in their history.

This is a free event and will be open during normal business hours in the Temporary Exhibit Hall.

Archaeology Day

Join us for Archaeology Day Saturday August 2 from 10:00 am through 4:00 pm.  Learn about primitive technologies, archaeology, and cultural preservation from experts.  Excavations will be open for viewing and discussion with archaeologists.   This is a free event.

Mississippian Conference

On July 27th at the Illinois State Museum – Dickson Mounds, professionals convene for a day of presentations relating to the Mississippian Culture.  Presentations will begin at 9:00 am and end with the final presentation at 3:50, with breaks throughout the day.  Poster presentations will be on display near the Auditorium entrance.  This event is co-hosted by the Illinois State Museum and Western Illinois University.   For a complete listing of all presentations and abstracts click List of Presentations and Abstracts.

City of the Sun 5K 2018 Make Up Race

The 2018 City of the Sun race was cancelled due to storm activity.  The race is rescheduled for March 24, 9 am.   If you did not pick up your packet in November, you can do so on Friday the 22nd between 9 and 4 (or by special appointment by calling Lori at 618-344-7316).  The building will open at 8 am on Sunday for packet pick up etc. If you do not have the number you picked up in November, check in at the ‘Preregistration table’ and they will give you a new Bib.

NOTE:  Toolen’s Running Start will do the timing.  We will use a pull-tab system.   Please make sure your name, age, and gender are listed on your pull-tab.  If you are WALKING the 1-Mile route, write WALK somewhere on your pull-tab so the timers get you in the correct category.  You must walk the entire time in order to be qualified for one of the place medals.

There will also be a table set up to register for the 2019 race occurring November 3.   You can register at the early bird rate of $25.

We will also have hats available for purchase at $15 on Sunday.

It has been a very wet season and we expect some mud and standing water in the wooded area.  Please be careful of roots that may be hidden by mud or water.


Robert Lewis – Native American Storyteller

As part of the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, now in its 40th year, Robert Lewis will enchant with his storytelling at Cahokia Mounds at 2 pm, on May 4.  Robert is an award-winning Native storyteller, author, and artist of Cherokee, Navajo, and Apache descent.  While researching and gathering stories from elders, storytellers, books, and magazines, Robert struck by the richness and variety of traditional knowledge and humor passed on from generation to generation.  “The traditional stories are a voice for cultural identity of a particular tribe’s lineage and heritage, a vital link to preserving the rich oral traditions and I find myself fortunate to be one of those storytellers retelling this knowledge and humor that has been passed down through time.”

The Storytelling Festival his the largest free storytelling festival in the world and is partnered with the University of Missouri Extension Community Arts Program.  For more information in their other storytelling events, visit stlstorytellingfestival.com.

This is a free event and seating will be limited.

Guest Symposium: Anthropocene. Archaeology of the Present, by Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany

On March 10, we will be hosting a public symposium by Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany titled:  Anthropocene. Archaeology of the Present.

“The site of the ancient city of Cahokia is a place where different time regimes of settlement, cultivation, ecological transformations and cultural meanings meet.  At this public symposium, archaeologists, artists, and community activists present and discuss the nexus between ancient and current modalities of dwelling that are present in Cahokia and the contextual relationships between humans and their environments in the American Heartland – including on the migrations of species, diets, and land-use changes – and link these to both the current zonings of industrial and social fragmentation and their legacies for the future.”

The symposium takes place within the framework of the project Mississippi. An Anthropocene River https://www.anthropocene-curriculum.org/pages/root/related-projects/mississippi-an-anthropocene-river/ by Haus der Kulturen der Welt  https://www.hkw.de/en/index.php (HKW), Berlin, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science  https://www.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/ , Berlin.  It is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office as part of the initiative #WunderbarTogether https://wunderbartogether.org/  as well as by the Max Planck Society https://www.mpg.de/en .

Public presentations will begin at 11 am through 1 pm.

11 am “Welcome and brief introduction to the project Mississippi: An Anthropocene River”  by Maria Rilke, Bernd Scherer, Jurgen Renn.

11:15 am “Rethinking Early Agriculture: Setting the stage for the Anthropocene” by Robert Spengler.

“Horses, Donkeys, and the Anthropocene in the Indigenous Mississippi World” by William Taylor.

“Understanding the North American Lost Crops” by Natalie Mueller.

“Eating the Anthropocene” by Lynn Peemoellerr.

“Monsanto Town” by Matthew Fluharty, Jennifer Colten.

“Significant and Insignificant Mounds” by Jennifer Colten, Jesse Vogler.

12:30 pm Open discussion with all speakers and the public led by Jurgen Renn.

This is a free event, no RSVP is required.  It will take place in the auditorium and seating will be limited.

March 3 Lecture CANCELLED

Due to the possibility of more weather on Sunday March 3, the scheduled lecture by Julie Zimmermann, PhD titled, “Hoping for Hopewell but Settling for Mississippian:  SIUE Investigations at the Gehring Site” is cancelled.  It has been rescheduled for March 31, 2 pm.