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Illinois State Museum Temporarily Closes Archaeology Exhibits at Dickson Mounds

All other exhibits, events, and programs will continue and remain open to the public

LEWISTOWN, Ill. - The Illinois State Museum today announced the temporary closure of its second-floor archaeology exhibitions at its Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown, Illinois. All other aspects of Dickson Mounds’ exhibitions, programs, and grounds remain open and active. The Museum’s lobby, Discovery Center, third-floor gallery, and observation deck will be open to visitors.   As part of a planned tribal consultation process, museum anthropology staff are reviewing and removing selected artifacts and reconsidering exhibition text.

This project is guided by the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) passed by the U.S. Congress in 1990. The Illinois State Museum received a grant from the National NAGPRA Program (a division of the U.S. National Park Service) to assist with consultation with the federally recognized Native American tribes who considered Illinois their homeland before and post European contact. 

Conversations between the State of Illinois and the Peoria Tribe of Native Americans of Oklahoma and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma led to closure of the Dickson Mounds Burial Exhibit in 1992. Since then, museum staff have welcomed further collaborations and consultations and are committed to responding to tribal wishes regarding the disposition of their ancestors and associated objects. Future exhibitions projects will center Indigenous perspectives and collaborate with the tribal communities forcibly removed from Illinois.

All other events, programs, and exhibitions at Dickson Mounds will continue to operate and remain open to the public. Scheduled programming includes a Family Shorebird Viewing Giveaway, Tot-Time, a Rocks and Minerals Kids’ Cache, Fall Colors, and the dedication of the new trailhead kiosk guides. Additionally, the museum’s picnic areas and four miles of trails provide fun outings this fall.

Dickson Mounds Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Learn more about all Dickson Mounds Museum has to offer at, and

About the Illinois State Museum                              Established in 1877, the Illinois State Museum is a dynamic institution that inspires the exploration of Illinois’ past and present to inform and enrich everyday life and promote stewardship of cultural and natural resources. Headquartered in Springfield with branch facilities in Lewistown and Lockport, ISM is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and a proud member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Learn more at ###