Expedia lists Collinsville “Best Place for History Lovers”

Cahokia Mounds is listed as one of the featured destinations in the “Best Place for History Lovers” in Expedia’s “The Best U.S. Destination for Every Travel Style” list.  Collinsville, Illinois is listed as the destination with the best places to visit for history lovers.  Cahokia Mounds, Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve, and World’s Largest Catsup Bottle are listed as the premier destinations in Collinsville for history lovers.   Cahokia Mounds would like to thank the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce for their submission for this list of top destinations by Expedia! You can find the entire post here:   https://viewfinder.expedia.com/features/best-u-s-destination-every-travel-style/


Interpretive Center Hours

As of today, the Interpretive Center will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am through 5 pm. These hours will remain in effect through the winter months.

Power Restored

The power has been restored to the Interpretive Center.  We are back on normal hours as of today, Friday the 13th.

Major Power outage closes the Interpretive Center.  The grounds are still open.  Repairs are underway.  We will notice the website and our Facebook page when we reopen.

Bill Iseminger Receives Distinguished Award

Bill Iseminger, an Assistant Manager at the site, was the recipient of the Bareis Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey on September 16.  Bill has worked in Illinois archaeology since 1967 when he began his career on a crew at Dickson Mounds.  In 1971, he began working at Cahokia Mounds as an archaeologist and was instrumental in the research, planning, and implementation of the exhibits of both the on-site museum in the 70’s and the Interpretive Center, which opened in 1989.   He has been an advocate of Cahokia Mounds and Illinois archaeology for the duration of his professional career and his given over 1200 off-site presentations about various aspects of the site.  His passion and dedication to the Interpretation of Cahokia Mounds is boundless.  We estimate that his live voice, written works, and artistic representations have reached millions of people of all ages and numerous walks of life.  Congratulations to Bill!

Recycle Eclipse Glasses Here

Cahokia Mound is a registered drop-off location for eclipse glasses.   Just bring your used glasses back and drop them off in the Gift Shop.  We will ship them to Astronomers Without Borders who will inspect them and distribute them to schools around the world that are in the paths of the next two solar eclipses occurring.  For more information call 618-344-7316.

Site Receives Grant for Cultural Performance

We are happy to announce that the Employees Community Fund of Boeing has awarded Cahokia Mounds a grant to produce another cultural event as part of the Boeing Native American Culture Series.   This event will be the Native American women a cappella group “Ulali.”

Ulali has appeared on National Public Radio several times and made their national television debut when they performed with Robertson as featured guests on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. After performing at the Todos un Cantos del Mundo in May 2000, Ulali was featured on the “Jo Soares Show”, a nationally televised talk show in Brazil.

The group has been on several compilations that have been nominated for Juno Awards. Ulali participated in the Aboriginal Women’s Voices Project and helped to develop songs for the Project recording “Hearts of the Nations”. They were also featured on the Smithsonian Folkways compilation recording “Heartbeat,” and can be heard on dozens of albums, documentaries and movies. In addition, Ulali contributed the music for a recording with Lakota/Kiowa Apache Story Teller Dovie Thomason’s “Lessons from the Animal People,” which won the  American Library Association’s 1997 “Editor’s Choice Award” and “Notable Recording Award”. During Spring 2002, they were featured on the “1 Giant Leap” recording and MTV video.

Ulali’s sound encompasses an array of indigenous music including Southeast United States choral singing (pre-blues and gospel) and pre-Columbian music. Ulali’s live performances address Native struggles and accomplishments.

This event will take place March 24, 2018 at the Collinsville High School auditorium.  Tickets are $20 or $17 for Society members and will be available for sale this winter.

Columbus Day Presentation at Cahokia Mounds

On Sunday, October 8, at 3PM Doug George (Mohawk Iroquois) and Grammy award-winning singer Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida Iroquois) will give the presentation titled, “Honoring the First People of this Land.”  This will be a spoken presentation, with song, taking place in the lobby of the Interpretive Center.  After the address, those in attendance will be invited to reconvene on Monks Mound for closing statements.   This is part of the SIUE Native Studies Cultural Series, October 7-9, 2017.  For more information, contact Lori at 618-344-7316 or Greg Fields at 618-650-2461.

Bike Drive at Cahokia Mounds benefits Two Non-Profits

Cahokia Mounds is proud to partner with BWorks for a Bicycle Drive October 7.  Bicycle Works is one of the great programs offered by BWorks, St. Louis, a non-profit whose focus it is to empower St. Louis kids.  The Earn-A-Bike Program is a great resource where children are taught the basics about bicycle safety and maintenance as a means to build community awareness and personal responsibility.  This is a free program where kids attend a series of hands-on courses held at various locations.  Graduating youths earn their own bike, helmet, light, and lock.  Bicycle Works is always in need of new or used bikes and bike-related accessories.  Bikes and accessories can be in any condition, as many times non-working bikes are used for parts and demonstrations.   A donor has come forward to facilitate the success of this Bike Drive.  If 100 bikes are donated to BWorks during the Bike Drive, a donation will be made to further the work of the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society and their efforts at the site. You can drop your bike or accessories off at Cahokia Mounds on October 7, from 9 am through noon in the parking lot.  This is a great way to help kids in our community, recycle unwanted bikes and accessories, and support the efforts of Cahokia Mounds!     For any questions, call Lori at 618-344-7316 or contact BWorks at info@Bworks.org.

In the Shadow of the Moon: Solar Eclipses in the Cahokian Sky


This Sunday, August 13, at 2 pm, we will have Russell Weisman giving a lecture on solar/lunar events that have occurred in the ancient skies above Cahokia Mounds and will consider prehistoric beliefs about solar eclipses and celestial shadows.  Seating is limited and will be on a first come first served basis.


Eclipse books and glasses out-of-stock

Due to an overwhelming response to our “Get Eclipsed” books and eclipse glasses, we are out of stock of both items.    We will be getting about 100 of the books alone with no glasses on Saturday and will have a small quantity of glasses available on Sunday the 13th.  These items will likely not last beyond the weekend.  Our apologies for any inconvenience.

Discover Ancient America at Archaeology Day

Cahokia Mounds will host its annual Archaeology Day on Saturday, August 5 from 10 – 4.   The event features ancient craft demonstrations such as; bow and arrow making, flintknapping and tool use, pottery making, stone carving, fingerweaving and fiber spinning, and more.  Visitors can throw spears with an atlatl, tour the excavations, watch archaeologists at work, and help screen dirt or process artifacts from the excavations.  Food and drinks will be available for purchase and the St. Louis Food Truck “STL BLT” will be on site from 11-2.  This is a free event, however a suggested donation box is located in the lobby.   For more information call 618-346-5160.

Join us on a Member-Only Excursion

Cahokia Mounds Museum Society is happy to announce that we have compiled a MEMBER-ONLY trip to Ohio.  The Ancient Ohio Excursion will take place September 2-3, 2017.   The Bus trip will leave Cahokia Mounds at 7 am on the 2nd for The Great Serpent Mound Ohio. That evening we will attend a live action, outdoor drama titled TECUMSEH! On the 3rd will go to the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park for a private tour before traveling to Seip Earthworks.  The trip is scheduled to return to Cahokia Mounds at about 7:45 pm on the 3rd.   Cahokia Mounds Museum Society will provide a complimentary dinner buffet at the live drama show as our gift to you.  The registration fee includes:  travel, accommodations, drinks and snacks on the bus, 2 boxed lunches, and all admission fees.   The price for single occupancy is $257 and for double occupancy it is $374.   To register, you must be a member and call 618-344-7316 to book your spot!

If you are not currently a member, you can join during July and be entered into a drawing for one free seat on the excursion!

Membership Drive Going on NOW

From now until the end of July you have a great opportunity to join the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society and support our preservation efforts as well as enter to win some fantastic prizes from Cahokia Mounds!   The rules are simple, each NEW membership and each UPGRADE to the next level from an existing membership will earn one entry into a drawing.  August 1st we will draw the winners of your choice of these great prizes!

  • One seat on the member-only Ancient Ohio Excursion (all expenses paid – value $257).  This bus trip includes The Great Serpent Mound, Ohio,  the live outdoor drama TECUMSEH!, Hopewell Culture National Park, and Seip Earthworks, Ohio.  This trip takes place September 2-3, and hotel accommodations are included.
  • Custom-framed, limited-edition, signed print by artist Herb Roe, Falcon Dancer Priest (value $227).
  • $50 Gift Certificate for the Museum Gift Shop
  • Cahokia Mounds Coffee Mug
  • Cahokia Mounds Art Show T-Shirt

Join us in our mission of preserving and interpreting Cahokia Mounds.  Your dues support; research, land acquisition, educational events and outreach efforts at Cahokia Mounds!  For more information call 618-344-7316.

You can join at  https://cahokiamounds.org/product/membership-level/

Eclipse Lecture

On August 13, Cahokia Mounds will offer a special lecture at 2 pm, by Russell Weisman, Senior Historic Preservation Specialist, MoDOT Environmental and Historic Preservation Section, titled “In the Shadow of the Moon, Solar Eclipses in the Cahokian Sky — AD 800-1300.

On Monday August 21, 2017 millions of Americans from Oregon to South Carolina will have the rare opportunity to witness and experience a total eclipse of the sun.  This presentation will review similar events that occurred in the ancient skies above Cahokia and will consider prehistoric beliefs about solar eclipses and celestial shadows and how they may have influenced Mississippian art, iconography, and religion.  Particular attention will be paid to a pair of sunrise total eclipses that were visible on the eastern horizon above Cahokia in AD 831 and AD 941, and rock art located along the shadow paths of those events that may have been created to commemorate them.

This is a free event and will be held in the Auditorium.  Seating is limited and will be on a first come first served basis.  For more information contact 618-346-5160.

Site Open 7 Days Beginning June

We are very happy to announce that the site will return to a 7-day-per-week schedule beginning June 1.    The site was reduced to 5 days per week just over a year ago amidst budget woes.  Visitation and funds raised by the support group, who owns and operates the Gift Shop, were both affected by the reduction in hours.   Beginning June 1, the Interpretive Center and grounds will once again be open daily from 9-5.  We anticipate this will last till the end of summer.   For a full listing of events scheduled at Cahokia Mounds, check the ‘calendar of events’ section of the website.

Artist Preston Jackson Donates Model

We are very fortunate to have one of the original wax models of the interior bronze door from the entrance of the Cahokia Mounds building.  This was donated by the bronze sculptor, painter, musician Preston Jackson. Preston Jackson is professor emeritus of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and owner of The Side View Gallery, home of the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois. He creates bronze figurative work and monumental steel and cast bronze sculptures as well as two-dimensional pieces.   Preston donated the wax sculpt to Cahokia Mounds to keep on display in the museum and felt that it should be here where our visitors can enjoy it.


Winter Lecture Series March 19, 2 pm

March 19 will be the final installment of the 2017 Winter Lecture Series.   This presentation will discuss the changes occurring at Angel Mounds, Indiana.  William Monaghan, PhD Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University-Bloomington and Jeremy J. Wilson, PhD, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) will be presenting “Anthropogenic Transformation and Population Processes at Angel Mounds: The Founding, Flourishment and Final Days of a Mississippian Village”.

Abstract: Since 2005, archaeological investigations at Angel Mounds, a Mississippian village along the Ohio River in southwest Indiana, have tackled a series of questions related to anthropogenic transformation, the timing of fortification construction, and the use-life for various habitation components of the site. Collectively this research aims to understand the intensity and trajectory of population-level processes at the site from its founding in the 11th century through abandonment in the early 15th century. The well-controlled chronology and developmental history for Angel Mounds derived from a decade of excavations and re-analysis of collections shows that the site underwent different developmental phases. The first occurred AD 1070-1250 with the site serving as an unfortified, ceremonial center with intensive earthwork construction, but few permanent residents. The second phase included the development a fortified village and increased residential population after AD 1300. Meanwhile, the abandonment of Angel Mounds in the early 15th century is attributed to increasing socio-political instability triggered by escalating levels of regional warfare and climatic unpredictability associated with the onset of the Little Ice Age.

For more information regarding this event, contact the Information Desk at 618-346-5160.

Trivia Night/Silent Auction Fundraiser

Excercise your intellectual muscle while raising money for two archaeological non-profits at the Annual Trivia Night and Silent Auction Fundraiser on April 22, from 7-10 pm. The funds raised at this event will benefit Powell Archaeological Research Center (PARC), a group dedicated to saving archaeological data, particularly in the Metropolitan St. Louis area, and the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society (CMMS), whose mission it is to support the State Historic Site. Twelve tables will compete in 8 rounds of geography history, entertainment, and general categories for one of three cash prizes; $150, $100, and $80. The silent auction will showcase many hand-made and donated items, Native-American items, and gift cards and coupons. Tables are limited, so reserve yours by calling Lori at 618-344-7316.


We’re in the Book!

Cahokia Mounds is listed as one of the 1000 Places to See in the United States and Canada by Patricia Schultz.  This is book is available at retailers everywhere and is a #1 New York Times Bestseller!