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.

Virtual Auction is on its Way!

From March 25 to April 10, the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society and the Powell Archaeological Research Center will be holding a virtual auction. This fundraiser will take place via BiddingOwl. Follow us for more details as they come out.

February 20 Winter Lecture Cancelled

The Winter Lecture on February 20, 2022 has been cancelled

Due to recent changes in pandemic restrictions, the in-person lecture scheduled for February 20 is cancelled.  Jacob Holland-Lulewicz, PhD will be conducting a walking tour of the west flank of Monks Mound (the topic of his research) once the weather permits.   More information on this unique opportunity will be in the Spring edition of the Cahokian as well as on social media outlets and our website.

Winter Lecture by Dr. Julie Zimmerman, “Storytelling in the Creation of Cahokia”

Join Julie Zimmermann, PhD, SIUE for her Webinar titled, “Storytelling in the Creation of Cahokia.”   Dr. Zimmermann will discuss what we know about storytelling in Native American Societies, and about storytelling at Cahokia in particular.  She suggests that storytelling was the most important ritual conducted at Cahokia, and it was the most important ritual used to spread Cahokian ideology.  This will be a 45 min. free ONLINE Webinar followed by a 15 minute question and answer period.  To Register:



Cahokia Mounds Renovation Site Closure

The Interpretive Center at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site will be closed to the public beginning March 1 to facilitate $5 million in capital improvement projects at the site. The projects, which will be managed by the Illinois Capital Development Board, are funded through Gov. JB Pritzker’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the first in nearly a decade.

The work is estimated to last at least 12 months. During the closure, the driveway leading into the site will be closed and no public access will be available to the main parking lot and surrounding area. The Monks Mound parking lot and trails north of Collinsville Road will remain open. Walking tours of the site may resume when weather allows in the spring while work on the Interpretive Center project is underway.

“The $5 million capital improvement project at Cahokia Mounds will include replacement of the existing roof, HVAC, lighting, fire suppression and security systems within the Interpretive Center,” said Cahokia Mounds Site Superintendent Lori Belknap. “The improvements will update and replace some systems and components that date to the construction of the Interpretive Center in 1988. When the Interpretive Center reopens, visitors will see many improvements including restoration of our theatre, along with upgrades and improvements to gallery elements, enhancing visitor experiences.”

The Cahokia Mounds Museum Society plans to host events outside of the Interpretive Center during the closure.

Beginner’s Flintknapping Workshop with Larry Kinsella

On Saturday, February 19 from 12 to 4 pm, learn the basics of flintknapping and stone tools.

Participants must be age 15 or above.

All tools and supplies are provided.

Wear long pants.

Payment of $30 can be made to the instructor at the beginning of class.

Masks must be worn when entering the Cahokia Mounds Interpretive Center. If pandemic restrictions change, students will be notified.

To register call 618-346-5160.

Site Technician Job Available

Are you interested in maintaining the building and grounds of a World Heritage Site?  Cahokia Mounds is hiring a Site Technician.  The posting can be found on and searching for posting #12-35-10275. All information needed to apply including duties and requirements can be found at that posting on the State website.  This is a PERMANENT and FULL-TIME SALARIED position.  The work schedule is Wednesday – Sunday 9-5.
This posting will close on 12/28/2021.
Call Lori at 618-346-5161 with further questions.  Please do not send applications via Facebook or email.  There are explicit application processes which can be found in the official posting.

Winter Lectures Coming Soon!

We’ve got two fascinating Winter Lectures lined up for 2022. Both will take place in the Interpretive Center’s Iseminger Auditorium. Our featured lecturers are Julie Zimmermann, PhD, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Dr. Jacob Holland-Lulewicz, PhD, Washington University St. Louis. Be sure to check out each lecture to learn about the most current research into Cahokia Mounds. 

The first installment of this year’s Winter Lecture series is by Dr. Julie Zimmerman. This lecture will take place January 16 at 2 pm in the Iseminger Auditorium. Dr. Zimmerman discusses Cahokia as a state focused on storytelling. The abstract of Dr. Zimmerman’s lecture, “Storytelling in the Creation of Cahokia,” follows.

Dr. Zimmerman states, “I have argued that Cahokia might best be understood as the capital of a Native American theater state, which drew people to it and spread its influence by attracting followers through theatrical rituals. In current research I argue that storytelling was primary among those rituals. All humans define and create the perceived world through language and stories, and storytelling is a central ritual in oral societies, the foundation for all other rituals. Traditional Native American beliefs indicate that words form the world; contemporary Native American viewpoints also suggest that stories are essential and create the world. Cahokian stories were remembered and commemorated with Braden-style artworks made at and disseminated from Cahokia. Primary among these stories was that of a great hero who wore human head earrings. Other stories were told at Cahokia, but the stories of heroes are those most often depicted in Braden-style artworks found far from Cahokia. The dissemination of hero stories supports the notion that Cahokia was a state; heroic storytelling was central to the growth of the state. Cahokians created their world through stories, but it was through hero stories that they grew their authority in far-flung societies.”

This year’s second lecture, “The Western Flank Survey: From Mississippian to Modern-Day in the Shadow of Monks Mound,” will be given by Dr. Jacob Holland-Lulewicz on February 20 at 2 pm in the Iseminger Auditorium. Read the abstract below.

Dr. Holland-Lulewicz explains, “In this talk, I summarize recent results from the Western Flank Survey, an extensive shovel-test survey of the area immediately abutting the western flank of Monks Mound. Though small in geographic extent, this seemingly insignificant slice of Cahokia has played host to over 1,000 years of human activity: from the moundbuilding and landscape modifications of the original Indigenous occupants, to French missionaries and monks, nineteenth century farmers, and most recently a century’s worth of heritage-making and tourism. Using recent survey results, carefully narrated artifact biographies, and a wealth of historical maps and documents, we will explore a millennium of regional history as reflected, assembled, and staged in the western shadow of the great Monks Mound.”

These lectures are the result of meticulous archaeological research and brought to you by the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society. If you wish to ensure that the society is able to continue helping research the city of Cahokia, please consider  joining as a member or donating to our Annual Fund Drive. If you chose to give to the Annual Fund Drive, a one time donation of $125 or a sustained monthly donation of $10  will get you one of our yearly, one of a kind AFD shirt.

The funds generated by these memberships and donations go to research like these lectures, as well as educational outreach, cultural events,  new programs like our “Back to the City of the Sun” augmented reality project, and land acquisition efforts. Please consider us during this giving season.     

The Annual Fund Drive is Here!

The Annual Fund Drive is in full swing. You can help CMMS continue our efforts at the site with your donation. These funds stay here at Cahokia Mounds and are used to support the entire Calendar of Events, field research, and land acquisition. The Site recieves no funds at the State level to implement any of the outreach or cultural events, marketing, advertising, or research that takes place at Cahokia Mounds. These activities are funded solely by membership dues, donations, grants, and Gift Shop sales.

We know that many organizations need financial help, but we ask that you consider making a donation to the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society Annual Fund Drive this giving season. Your generous giving makes a world of difference in helping Cahokia Mounds continue to provide great programming and research for all our visitors and the community at large.

You can contribute by calling 618-344-7316 or by emaling or Help us preserve the archaeological data at this World Heritage Site and share the story of this ancient city with the world.

For a one time donation of $125 or a monthly donation of $10 or more, you will receive one of this year’s Annual Fund Drive shirts.

The Annual Fund Drive will continue until January 31st.

Cahokia Mounds on PBS

Imagine if you could soar high above the dazzling fall foliage at Starved Rock State Park, the towering Indiana Dunes, the vast expanse of Lake Michigan, or the lost Native American City of Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Southern Illinois.   Cahokia Mounds and Starved Rock are among the featured sites of the WTTW PBS production “BEYOND CHICAGO FROM THE AIR”.  The Show airs on December 1 at 7:30 pm on all WTTW PBS platforms.  WTTW host/writer Geoffrey Baer takes to the skies again to travel Illinois sharing fun facts and fascinating history as exhilarating drone photography captures towns, parks, railroads, waterways, monuments, and more in Illinois.  The immersive experience is extended on a companion website ( offering a “making of” behind-the-scenes video with commentary by Baer and producer/director Eddie Griffin.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site Interpretive Center is open Thursday through Sunday from 9-5.  Grounds are open daily from dawn until dusk.  There is no entrance fee, but a suggested donation helps offset costs.

Cahokia Mounds is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and US National Historic Landmark.

For more information contact 618-346-5160 or visit

Thanks for the great 5K!

Thank you to our runners for making this year’s City of the Sun 5k Trail Run a success. It was a beautiful day for to enjoy the foliage on the trails. All the proceeds are going to fund outreach and education for Cahokia Mounds.

The City of the Sun 5k Trail Run is coming soon!

It’s coming right around the corner! Join us for our annual City of the Sun 5k Trail Run on November 7 at 9 am. This fundraiser will give you the opportunity to run along our beautiful site and take in the fall air. Proceeds go to making the site great, improving the programming we offer, and land acquisition efforts to preserve and interpret more of the mounds currently off-site.

Online registration is closed, but you can still sign up the morning of the race by arriving at 8. Registration is $30 per person and $45 for a pair.

Even if you don’t register to run, you can still come out to show your support of the mounds and to cheer on the runners!

This run will take place rain or shine and not all the paths are paved, so make sure to wear appropriate shoes. Most importantly, have fun!

Jingle Hike Challenge

2021 Jingle Hike Challenge
The Jingle Hike Challenge is back for another year! The staff at Heartlands Conservancy have come up with 12 very special places in southwestern Illinois to explore this winter.

About the Jingle Hike Challenge
Jingle bells will be tied to 12 trees in parks throughout the Metro East from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day. Participants are asked to visit as many parks as they can, take a selfie with the bell, and submit the photo evidence using a new tracking system. You can also share your photos on social media, using the hashtag #JingleHike. To check out the Jingle Hike Locations and Rules, go to the Official Jingle Hike Challenge page here.


Registration begins October 11, 2021. Cost is $25 per person and includes t-shirt, printed map with instructions, entry number, and chance to win great prizes. You must register by November 1 to get your t-shirt. (You can still register after November 1, but you will not receive a t-shirt).

After you register you can pick up your Jingle Hike packet from Toolen’s Running Start in O’Fallon (3260 Green Mt Crossing Dr, O’Fallon, IL 62269) on Saturday, November 20 between 10 am and noon. Anyone who is unable to come during this time can pick up their packets at the HeartLands Conservancy office at 29 E Main Street in Belleville during business hours or pay an extra $5.00 to have the packet shipped to you. Shirts not picked up by January 31, 2022 will be donated.

Can I still play if I don’t register? 

Anyone is welcome to find the jingle bells, snap and submit a selfie, and share it on social media using #jinglehike. However, you will only be entered to win prizes if you are registered.



Guest Speaker Carrie Wilson

On October 21, 2021 at 2:00 pm in the Iseminger Auditorium, Carrie Wilson, Quapaw, will give a talk titled “Quapaw Robes and Cahokia: Insights by Carrie Wilson, Quapaw.”
In this talk Ms. Wilson will describe bison robes from the 1700s and discuss their significance and relationship to Cahokia based on the design.
Reservations are not needed. This is a free event.

FREE Members Only Augmented Reality Event

FREE Membership Only Event

Make your reservations today by calling 618-344-9221

Sunday, October 17th & Monday, October 18th (10:00 am – 3:30pm)


Back to the City of the Sun, an Augmented Reality Experience

Be one of the first to view and review the NEW Augmented Reality project going on NOW at Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Site.

MEMBERS ONLY can bring the past to the present on an iPad to observe the NEW release of the Monks Mound Tour. You’ll see detailed 3D models bring the past to present with unparalleled realism. Touch Knowledge Point icons that will add to your experience with extra information about artifacts or structures. As you walk between these various stops, you can listen to audio and learn even more. Visitors can stand on the ground where only the mounds remain and through the lens of a digital device, see other cultural features that were present a thousand years ago.

On this tour you will see:

The temple that once stood on top of Monks Mound and its interior

A typical Mississippian dwelling

The stockade wall

A charnel house on Fox Mound

People performing activities and more!

GRAND PLAZA TOUR Coming Spring 2022

Click the following link to learn more.

Heartlands Conservancy Jingle Hike Challenge

Looking for something fun to do between November 25 and January 1? If you like to hike, we invite you to take part in Heartland Conservancy’s Jingle Hike Challenge. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, as well as many other parks in the St. Louis Metro area, will be hiding jingle bells in the trees for you to find. Hike around our grounds and take pictures of yourself with as many bells as you can. You’ll then post them using the Heartlands Conservancy’s new tracking system (Details coming soon). For every picture, you’ll get another entry in a raffle with some fun prizes, including a two night stay at Camp Ondessonk for up to 6 people! All the prizes are for the adventurous.

Registration is $25 per person. More details can be found by following the below link:


Have fun!

COVID Mask Mandates In Place

Per CDC COVID-19 guidelines, all visitors to the Interpretive Center are required to wear masks. Please ensure your mask covers both your nose and your mouth to help us keep our visitors, staff, and volunteers safe. Thank you.

Masks are available at our Welcome Desk.