Cahokia Mounds Annual Holiday Market

The Cahokia Mounds Annual Holiday Market will be at the Gateway Convention Center.

Over 25 Native American artists sell Native American arts and crafts. Items include: Jewelry, Painting, Sculpture, Beadwork, Ceramics, and more!

November 25th through November 27th, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9-5.

Gateway Convention Center
1 Gateway Drive,
Collinsville, IL 62234

(618) 344-9221 / (618) 344-7316






Cahokia Mounds Shirts Are On Sale!

The Cahokia Mounds Gift Shop is having a great sale on all of our shirts! Shirts are on sale from between six and twelve dollars. If you’d like to help support this World Heritage Site during our renovations—and show off your support in style—go to and search for Shirts.

Please specify your desired size when you order.

Nature/Culture Hike

Join Dr. Julie Zimmermann for the Cahokia Mounds Nature/Culture Hike on October 15. You’ll learn about native plants and animals and how the Mississippian culture interacted with them and the environment.

This is a hike through some of the less commonly traveled trails, so make sure to wear appropriate clothing, sturdy shoes suitable for hiking, and to bring water. Sunscreen, bug spray, water, and snacks are advised, though make sure any refuse makes its way back to our trash cans at the Interpretive Center. It is imperative that no one climb the mounds, as unauthorized foot trails on the sides of mounds are causing severe erosion problems on these ancient monuments.

The event is expected to take from 1-4:30. Please meet by the entrance to the Interpretive Center.

Join us for the 2022 Fall Equinox Sunrise Observance

On September 25 at 6:30 am, Cahokia Mounds will hold its seasonal Fall Equinox Sunrise Observance. Meet at Woodhenge for a talk about the discovery and significance of this ancient solar calendar. Welcome the rising sun with us. Out of respect for native beliefs, no ceremonies will take place during the event. For more information, call (618)346-5160.

Shirts will be available the morning of the event for $20.

November 17 CAS Talk: “Grandmother—Up in Smoke: Traces of Cahokians in Distant Lands”

At the November 17 meeting of the Cahokia Archaeological Society, Steve Boles, Senior Research Archaeologist for the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, will give a talk entitled “Grandmother—Up in Smoke: Traces of Cahokians in Distant Lands.” The abstract of the lecture can be found below.

Decades of research on the birth of the Mississippian culture and the founding of Cahokia has shown that at the onset, Cahokia drew immigrants from all directions. It was, in essence, the Pre-Contact “melting pot” of its time. We also know that people began departing Cahokia roughly a hundred years after it began. Although the complete depopulation of Cahokia would take another two hundred years, a substantial depopulation of Cahokia is evident by the 12th century. Where did they go? Although a number of researchers are focusing on that question, the answer is quite elusive. How does one “track” Cahokian emigrants? Of all the Cahokia trappings, very few would be distinguishable in the archaeological record. At the top of the list, however, would be the Cahokia-style figurines or statues, many created as or converted to pipes. A rather obscure female effigy pipe carved in the Cahokia-style and recovered in Oklahoma will be the focus of this presentation. This effigy is likely a depiction of a mythological persona often referred to as Grandmother or Old Woman. Other notable figurines and identifiable Cahokian material recovered in distant lands will also be discussed.

2022 City of the Sun 5k Trail Run

Join us Sunday, November 6 at 9 am for the 2022 City of the Sun 5k Trail run. The entry fee is $30. Packet pickup will be on Friday, November 4, from 9-3 or 8 am the morning of the race. Family registration, which includes two numbers and two shirts, is $45.

The City of the Sun 5k Trail run is a great opportunity to get to know Cahokia Mounds’ large network of trails that criss-cross the site. Cahokia Mounds is a popular destination for runners, walkers, and hikers. 

All proceeds support education programs, events, research, and land acquisition efforts at Cahokia Mounds. The run will occur rain or shine, but will be cancelled in the case of lightning. Registration fees are final; no refunds. Dogs will not be allowed. Some areas of the trail are not suitable for strollers. As much of the run happens on the trails, expect uneven terrain and mud if it’s wet.

The City of the Sun 5k Trail run is always a popular event. Last year, we had approximately 90 runners and even more spectators.

To sign up, visit and search for Cahokia Mounds or call us at (618) 344-9221 or (618) 344-7316. 

“Cahokia in Chesterfield: The Sun, Moon and Milky Way”

Cahokia in Chesterfield: The Sun, Moon and Milky Way” is the title of the free presentation by Mark Leach, September 15, at 6 pm, at the Collinsville Memorial Library, at the monthly meeting of the Cahokia Archaeological Society. The public is invited to attend.

Nearly 1000 years ago, a vibrant community, related to the great prehistoric city of Cahokia, filled the entire Chesterfield Valley west of St. Louis. This planned civic, ceremonial, and market center was constructed to reflect important celestial alignments of the sun, moon, and Milky Way. Excavations and other research in a portion of the valley have revealed over 100,000 artifacts, including some made from exotic material from the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes, as well as three temples and two earthen pyramids that formed a solar calendar that stretched over 3.5 miles across the valley. Leach will discuss these findings and others from over 70 years of archaeological research, which still is ongoing. Leach, a local author, has published several archaeological books, including one with the same title as his presentation, and Chesterfield’s Ancient Past, and The Great Pyramids of St. Louis: An Ancient Metropolis.

Art of the Mississippian Heartland

Join us as Justin Smock, Conservation Education Representative for Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, discusses the artistic styles and renderings of Mississsippian artwork. Based on the Chicago Art Institute’s exhibit, “Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand,” this presentation will articulate the spread of Mississippian culture and influence as it relates to the North American Midwest and South which is documented in their artwork.

When: Saturday, August 20 at 2pm
Where: Collinsville Public Library

Limited space available, please RSVP with Justin Smock

Phone: 618-346-5160

This is a FREE event

Exciting Things Going on at Cahokia Mounds!

Despite our closure, the team at Cahokia Mounds is still hard at work!

Right now, we’re preparing for our annual City of the Sun 5k Trail Run, which will take place on November 6. This run will take you all throughout the grounds: down trails, between the mounds, across the fields, and more! The run will take place rain or shine (except in case of lightning), so make sure to wear good shoes. It could get muddy.

Also, August is our annual Membership drive, so tell all your friends! Be sure to stay tuned to see the exclusive gift for new members.

Join us for the Summer Solstice Sunrise Observance

At 5:20 am on Sunday, June 19, join us at Woodhenge for this year’s Summer Solstice Sunrise Observance. Learn about this ancient solar calendar and its role in the relationship between the sun and the Cahokians, the people of the City of the Sun. Commemorative shirts will be available for purchase. No ceremonies will take place.

Help support Cahokia Mounds during the Renovation Fund Drive!

During the closure, the team at Cahokia Mounds is asking for your help in continuing our mission to preserve and interpret Cahokia Mounds. We have partnered with Gateway Shirts to bring you exclusive commemorative tees, only available for a limited time. The shirts are $20 and come in grey, neon yellow/green, orange, and pink.

You can find these shirts here:

The Nature/Culture Hike is almost here!

At 9am this Saturday, June 11, join Dr. Julie Zimmermann at the Monks Mound parking lot for our Nature/Culture Hike. Experience the flora and fauna that shaped Cahokian culture on this 2 hour hike through some of our lesser known trails. It’s supposed to rain on Friday, so make sure you prepare for wet conditions on the trail. Sturdy shoes and water are a must, but bug spray, sun screen, and snacks are recommended. Just make sure all trash makes its way to a receptacle.

Climbing the mounds causes severe erosional problems and is strictly prohibited.

Hiring for 5 Seasonal Positions

We are currently taking applications for 5 temporary positions for grounds/building maintenance.  Positions are full time but 6 months in duration.  This is a good way to gain park/building maintenance experience and add to your resume.  To apply contact Lori at 618-346-5164, or   The deadline to apply is May 19.   Must be 17 to apply and have a valid DL.

Nature/Culture Hike

Join Dr. Julie Zimmermann for the Cahokia Mounds Nature/Culture Hike on June 11. You’ll learn about native plants and animals and how the Mississippian culture interacted with them and the environment. 

This is a 2-hour hike through some of the less commonly traveled trails, so make sure to wear appropriate clothing, sturdy shoes suitable for hiking, and to bring water. Sunscreen, bug spray, and snacks are advised, though make sure any refuse makes its way back to our trash cans at the Interpretive Center. It is imperative that no one climb the mounds, as unauthorized foot trails on the sides of mounds are causing sever erosional problems on these ancient monuments.

The event is expected to take from 9-12:30. Please meet by the Monks Mound information sign.

Cahokia Mounds Indian Market Days are Almost Here

Come to the Gateway Convention Center to visit our Indian Market Days!

On Friday, April 29 from 11-5 and Saturday and Sunday April 30-May 1 from 9-5, come visit over 30 Native American artists and peruse their handmade wares. From baskets to pottery to jewelry and more, these artists come from all over the country to bring their one-of-a-kind works to you.

Because of the mechanical project underway at the Interpretive Center, this year’s market will take place at the Gateway Convention Center on 1 Gateway Drive in Collinsville, IL. The Convention Center is not far from Cahokia Mounds and there will be plenty of parking in the front and back of the building.

We hope to see you there!

Walking Tours of Monks Mound Coming Soon

During our renovation period at Cahokia Mounds, we will begin offering guided tours by appointment only on Wednesday April 20. To schedule a tour, call 618-346-5160. These tours will begin at the Monks Mound parking lot and will include an informational talk followed by a tour of Monks Mound and the surrounding area. These will be about 45 minutes and will be weather-dependent. Tours will be daily from Wednesday – Sunday at 1:00 pm. You must schedule an appointment, if there are no appointments scheduled, a tour guide will not be at the designated area. We will add more tour times and locations June 1. Thank you for your continued support during this transitional time!

Online Virtual Auction for CMMS and PARC

Interested in supporting the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society and the Powell Archaeological Research Center? Consider visiting our virtual auction at BiddingOwl. From books to paintings to jewelry to gift certificates, your bid will help CMMS and PARC continue our work. Your support is doubly helpful during the site closure.


Visit the auction here:

Our very own Mr. Mounds has published a new book about the Civil War




            William Iseminger has written a book, just published and available from, From McLean to Mobile: A History of the 94th Illinois Infantry Regiment Volunteers, 1862-1865, “The McLean Regiment.”  

            His book follows the Regiment from their commissioning in Bloomington, Illinois, in August 1862, through their three years of service in the Union Army. They began training and skirmishing in Missouri, participated in the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, conflicts in Louisiana, garrison duty in Brownsville, Texas, and finally the sieges and battles of Fort Morgan and Spanish Fort in Mobile Bay, Alabama. They mustered out of service in Galveston, Texas, and returned home to McLean County, Illinois, in August 1865.

            Iseminger’s research for the book began many years ago when he transcribed the letters and diaries of two of his great-grandfathers who were in the Regiment, Tubal Wile Iseminger of Heyworth and Harrison H. Clark of Randolph Station. Over the years, he located 8 more diaries and 257 letters from 22 additional soldiers in the 94th, as well as 2 oral histories by soldiers, and other sources. Using all of these, he has written a day-by-day account of the Regiment’s journey, using the diary entries to create a daily narrative of their activities, battles and encounters, travels, health, the weather, and their thoughts and observations about the people and places they saw. The narrative is enhanced by inserting the transcriptions of their letters on the days they were written, providing more details about their experiences.

            Rather than being a detailed military history of the unit, the book is more of a personalized history of the Regiment, from their own views and mostly in their own words. The book is a 300-page 8.5×11” softcover with over 100 full-color and black-and-white illustrations, photos, and maps, and includes a roster of all the soldiers in the Regiment.

Central Plains Maize Farming and the Cahokian Diaspora

Saturday, March 5, 2022
1pm CST

Presented by Prof. Douglas Bramforth
University of Colorado

Archaeology wonders at great length about how people invented farming but often takes the subsequent spread of farming more or less for granted.  Globally, we know that farming spread in many ways.  Sometimes farmers migrated into hunter-gatherer land and took it; other times they traded and married with hunter-gatherers over longer periods before farming became dominant.  In every case, though, the transformation from hunting and gathering happened knowledgably, involving groups who must have interacted, eaten each other’s foods, and spoken together.  This talk explores this problem on the central Great Plains, where evidence for the earliest (12th century) maize farmers knew the great Mississippian center of Cahokia.  The first pulse of maize farming in eastern Kansas and adjacent areas shows a mix of Cahokian and indigenous architecture and material culture; people had to have moved back and forth.  These earliest groups also shifted from collective to individual burial, suggesting significant changes in the way people symbolized their community.  Over a century, though, maize farming spread more widely without the trappings of Mississippian society, as other Midwestern agriculturalists spread into the region.

Zoom Details
The waiting room opens at 12:45pm CST, and the live lecture will begin at 1:00pm CST.

Click here to join the meeting. Or, join through Zoom with the following login:

Meeting ID: 361 501 0853
Password: Brilliant

If you do not already have Zoom installed on your computer, you will be prompted to do so.

Site Renovations Closure

The Interpretive Center will be closed for major renovations beginning March 1, 2022.

The project will begin with replacing the roof of the Interpretive Center followed by the HVAC, fire, security, and lighting systems. A reopen date has not yet been set.

We are anticipating a closure of one year or more. The Society will continue operations of fundraising and other support programs during the closure. We plan to offer outdoor tours when the weather is conducive. More information about opportunities and programming will be found on our website, on social media, or by calling the Interpretive Center.