Dickson Mounds (Dickson Mounds Museum)
Placed on the National Register in 1972, Dickson Mounds is a significant Native American burial mound site located southeast of Lewistown, Illinois. The site consists of several mounds as well as the Dickson Mounds Museum, which was built in 1972 and is a branch of the Illinois State Museum. The mounds date from 800 CE-1250 CE and they are thought to contain around 3,000 burials. The museum features exhibits that explore the interaction between the peoples who have lived in the area and the Illinois river, from the Ice Age to the present day; the culture and life of the inhabitants of the Illinois River valley through the artifacts they left behind; and the Mississippian people who constructed the mounds.
Backstory and Context
The museum site contains exhibits that span over twelve thousand years of Mississippian River. On display are skeletons of Ice Age animals, life-sized dioramas depicting Native Mississippian culture, and several archaeological artifacts. There is also a gift shop and a children's play area. On the grounds are eleven mounds and two burial spots, along with a bluff overlooking the Illinois River Valley.