Visitors can learn early history at Cahokia Mounds Archaeology Day

Chronicle Media

Visitors can tour the excavations, help sift soils from the digs, and they can help wash artifacts found during Archaeology Day at Cahokia Mounds State Historic on Saturday, Aug. 5. (Photo courtesy of Cahokia Mounds)

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, will host its annual Archaeology Day on Saturday, Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event features ancient craft demonstrations, archaeological techniques and artifact processing, tours of excavations, and several hands-on activities. The popular event is free and open to the public.

Archaeology Day allows visitors to learn more about archaeology from excavations to analyzing artifacts to experimental archaeology.  Skilled crafters will demonstrate bow and arrow making, flint knapping and tool use, pottery making, stone carving, finger weaving and fiber spinning, and more.  Visitors can also try their hand at playing the chunkey game or throwing spears with an atlatl spear thrower.  A professional storyteller will tell stories that will appeal to all age groups.

Visitors can tour the excavations and help sift soils from the digs, and they can help wash artifacts found during this summer’s excavations.  Archaeologists and specialists will demonstrate the identification of animal bones; using instruments for remote sensing to detect subsurface features; the uses of various plants for food and medicine; and, the various types of Indian rock art.

Displays with representatives from other archeological sites and institutions will be set up.  Food and refreshment stands will be available, including kettle “maize.”

The event will be held outside under shelters.  In case of rain, most of the activities will move inside the Interpretive Center.

Archaeology Day is sponsored by the Cahokia Archaeological Society and the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society with cooperation from the Cahokia Mounds staff and volunteers, and the Powell Archaeological Research Center.  For more information, call (618) 346-5160 or visit

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is just eight miles from St. Louis, in Collinsville, off Interstates 55/70 (Exit 6) and Interstate 255 (Exit 24) on Collinsville Road. There is no admission fee, but a suggested donation of $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $2 for students, and $15 for families is welcomed.


— Visitors can learn early history at Cahokia Mounds Archaeology Day —