Renovation Fund Drive – Donate NOW Through July 31, 2023

Cahokia Mounds Museum Society Wins Prestigious 2023 AASLH Award of Excellence!

The Cahokia Mounds Museum Society (CMMS) is honored to announce the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) has selected us as a 2023 Award of Excellence winner by the Leadership in History Awards Committee for Back to the City of The Sun: An Augmented Reality Experience. This year, AASLH conferred fifty-one national awards honoring people, projects, and exhibits that represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history.

The AR tour application process began in 2018, with the goal of seeking funding for a more sophisticated and contemporary interpretive experience for our visitors. In 2019, the CMMS was awarded a $100,00 Digital Projects for the Public Prototyping grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This phase was a planning stage for the larger technology project to come. In November of 2019, the CMMS was awarded a $250,000 Digital Projects for the Public Production grant to produce a fully functional program by the end of 2021. Working in tandem with the team at Schwartz & Associates Creative, the CMMS launched the first phase of the project in December of 2021, with the Monks Mound Tour. The second phase was launched shortly after in February of 2022, with the inclusion of the Grand Plaza Tour.

The Cahokia AR Tour is a cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) experience offering visitors a glimpse of what Cahokia might have looked like over one thousand years ago. Purchase the application from either the Apple App Store if you have an iPhone or the Google Play Store for all other smart devices. The Monks Mound tour begins at the AR map near the Monks Mound parking lot. The Grand Plaza Tour begins at the AR map just behind the Interpretive Center. For each tour visitors will scan waypoints with their smart device camera to activate the AR images. By looking at their device visitors will see video on their screen of what that specific waypoint might have looked like from the initial development of Cahokia to Present Day.

This audio-visual program will enhance the visitor experience, which is critical during our extended renovation closure. Thank you to AASLH for this esteemed honor and congratulations to the CMMS and Schwartz & Associates Creative for all their hard work and determination in seeing this project through and developing a program that interprets Cahokia Mounds like never before!

*The Cahokia AR Tour is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play for $4.99.


The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), a national nonprofit association, provides leadership and resources to help the history community thrive and make the past more meaningful for all people. AASLH serves the tens of thousands of history organizations, professionals, and volunteers around the country who help people of all ages develop critical thinking skills and understand how learning history helps society make progress toward justice. Through research, advocacy, and our field-leading professional development program, AASLH advances public history practice and connects history practitioners to critical issues in the field and to one another. For more information about AASLH visit

*For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to


Indian Market Days Happening June 3 & 4, 2023

HAPPENING JUNE 3 & 4, 9AM-5PM at the
Current List of Participating Artists:
Noris Chee (Navajo) – Original Paintings & Prints
Niles Aseret (Navajo) – Beadwork
Patricia Baxter Shebola (Hopi) – Beadwork
Ramona & Michael Frerichs (Northern Arapahoe) – Flutes & Dreamcatchers
Emilio & Margariete Chavez (Santa Domingo Pueblo) – Shell Jewelry
Paul Rene Tamburro (Abenaki) – Silversmith
Mel Cornshucker (Cherokee) – Pottery
Jenniefer Garcia (San Felipe Pueblo) – Shell Jewelry
Woody Richards (Lakota Sioux) – Hide Paintings & Knives
Duane Prescott (Ho-Chunk) – Antique & Vintage Pieces
Kathy Dickerson (Kiowa) – Soaps, Candles, & Sprays
Catherine Nagy Mowry (Miami) – Cornhusk Dolls, Cards, & Prints
General Grant (Cherokee) – Wampum
David Farnham (Cayuga) – Stone/Antler Carvings
Keith Yazzie Jay (Navajo) – Pottery & Cedar Bead Necklaces
Jimmy Yawakie (Zuni) – Fetishes
William Harjo (Creek Nation) – Flutes
Kim Bugg (Oneida) – Bead, Metal, & Leather Work
Jon Tiger (Muskogee Creek) – Pencil Drawings & Paintings
Lori Lake (Navajo) – Beadwork
For more information please call Linda Krieg at 618-344-9221
*Photo of Will Harjo (Creek Nation) – Flutes

Cahokia Archaeological Society (CAS) Meeting & Program

WHEN: May 18, 2023 @ 6:30 pm
WHERE: Collinsville Memorial Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,
                    408 W Main St, Collinsville, IL 62234
Autumn Melby, University of Pennsylvania, will give a presentation on current excavations at the Hawkins Hollow site near Old Valmeyer, in Monroe County, Illinois. The site is a rural late Mississippian homestead occupation. Previous excavations by ISAS (Illinois State Archaeological Survey) had located a house on one side of a road and the Penn State project is revealing another structure on the opposite side of the road that may have been burned.
* The Cahokia Archaeological Society (CAS) is affiliated as a chapter of the Illinois Association for Advancement of Archaeology (IAAA), a state-wide organization. CAS meetings are held monthly on the third Thursday of each month, with a business meeting at 6pm followed by a program at 6:30pm. 
These programs are FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC

Guided Tours Resume!

Guided Tours and Informational Talks will begin May 3rd on the grounds at Cahokia Mounds.  Tours and Talks are by appointment only and are as follows:


Wednesday at 1 pm:  Tour of The Grand Plaza.  Meet in front of Interpretive Center.

Thursday at 1 pm:  Tour of Monks Mound.  Meet in MM parking lot near water fountain.

Friday at 1 pm:  Informational talk in front of Interpretive Center.

Saturday at 1 pm:   Informational talk in front of Interpretive Center.

Sunday at 1 pm:   Tour of The Grand Plaza.  Meet in front of Interpretive Center.


Tours and talks will last 45 minutes – 1 hour.  To schedule, call 618-346-5160.  There is no charge for these services.

The Interpretive Center  will remain closed during all talks and tours.  Gift Shop may be available during tour times, check with Interpretive Center staff to schedule time in the Gift Shop.

The Grand Plaza Tour will be on flat terrain with partial sidewalk.  The Monks Mound tour will go up the 156 steps to the top of Monks Mound.

Informational talk will be a 30-45 minute talk covering the general information of our site.

Cahokia Mounds Hiring Seasonal Staff

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is hiring seasonal ground maintenance and interpretive staff.  This is a great opportunity to gain experience in Parks Management and get a World Heritage Site on your resume. These are full-time positions for a 6-month duration. Pay is $15 per hour. Hours are 7 am – 3 Pm, days will vary. Applicants MUST be at least 17 years of age and have a valid Driver’s License. Here is the link for one of the positions: CONSERVATION/HISTORIC PRESERVATION WORKER ( The two Position IDs are # 24647 (for Maintenance)  and # 24658 (for Interpretive.) Please do NOT send resume’s or letters via Facebook or email. Anyone wishing to be considered MUST apply online through the, no other methods will be acknowledged.

For more information or questions, please contact Superintendent Lori Belknap at

Spring Cover Photo Contest Results!

The Spring photo contest results are in! Thank you to everyone that participated, we had a total of 19 entries.
First Place:
Wayne Meriwether
“Bee on Flower”
Wayne’s photo will be featured on the cover of the Spring issue of our newsletter the Cahokian. Wayne will also receive a $50 gift certificate to our online gift shop.
Honorable Mention:
Stacey Cook
“Sun Over Monks”
Stacey’s photo will be featured on the inside of the Cahokian and will receive a $25 gift certificate to our online gift shop.
Both winners also received a complimentary membership to the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society. This membership offers 4 issues of our quarterly newsletter the Cahokian and a 10% discount at the Cahokia Mounds Gift Shop. To get your own copy of the Cahokian simply become a member of the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society. Join TODAY by calling Justin Smock at 618-344-7316 or through our website at

Cahokia Mounds hiring Conservation Education Representative

Cahokia Mounds is seeking a temporary seasonal position that will not exceed six months to augment permanent staff during the peak season.  This Conservation Education Representative position will fill the need of developing, executing, and presenting programs, activities and events to the general public, school groups, and special interest groups.  Prepares and delivers educational information designed to instill appreciation of Cahokia Mounds.  Minimum qualifications are; requires knowledge, skill, and mental development equivalent to completion of 4 years of college, with courses in English or public speaking.  Must be able to pass background check, have a valid driver’s license, and have the ability to travel.

All applicants who want to be considered for this position MUST apply electronically through the website and search for Posting Identification Number 12-35-24113.  For more information contact Lori at 618-346-5164.

Spring Cover Photo Contest 2023

The Cahokia Mounds Museum Society (CMMS) is looking to you for a Spring-time photo of the site to use as a cover photo for the next issue of the quarterly newsletter the Cahokian. Photos can be from any year as long as you are the photographer. A first-place winner and honorable mention will be selected. First place will have their photo as the cover of the Cahokian and will receive a $50 gift certificate for the online gift shop. Honorable mention will have their photo featured inside the Cahokian and will receive a $25 gift certificate to the online gift shop. The Spring issue of the Cahokian is anticipated to be in homes by April 1, 2023.

To enter, simply post your photo to the Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Site Facebook page with the caption “#Contest.” You may also email your photo to the Administrative Assistant at The contest will take place from Jan. 3, 2023, to Feb. 24, 2023. The winners of first place and honorable mention will be announced on March 1, 2023.
For more information, please email or call (618) 344-7316.
*Only one entry per person please.*

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: