COLLINSVILLE — Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site offers visitors a chance Saturday, Aug. 1, to learn ancient skills like making stone tools and throwing spears and then to see how archaeologists dig up the facts about ancient cultures.
Archaeology Day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature craft demonstrations, archaeological techniques and artifact processing, tours of excavations, and hands-on activities.
Experts will demonstrate making a bow and arrow, turning flint into arrowheads and tools, carving stone, weaving and spinning fibers. Visitors can also try their hand at playing the American Indian “chunkey” game or throwing spears with an atlatl spear-thrower.
Visitors can tour archaeological excavations, sift soils from the digs and help wash artifacts found during excavations. Archaeologists and specialists will demonstrate techniques such as identifying animal bones. Displays with representatives from other archeological sites and institutions will be set up.
Food and refreshment stands will be available, including kettle “maize.”
In case of rain, most of the activities will move inside the Interpretive Center.
Archaeology Day is sponsored by the Cahokia Archaeological Society with cooperation from the Cahokia Mounds staff and Volunteers, the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society and the Powell Archaeological Research Center. For information, call (618) 346-5160 or visit www.cahokiamounds.org.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is just eight miles from downtown St. Louis in Collinsville, off Interstates 55/70 (exit 6) and Interstate 255 (exit 24), on Collinsville Road.
The historic site’s mounds are the largest Native American earthworks north of Mexico. They were part of a huge city created by the Mississippian culture that flourished 1,000 years ago in the Midwest and South.