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Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown
(4.1/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web)
Dickson Mounds is a Native American settlement site and burial mound complex near Lewistown, Illinois. It is located in Fulton County on a low bluff overlooking the Illinois River. It is a large burial complex containing at least two cemeteries, ten superimposed burial mounds, and a platform mound. The Dickson Mounds site was founded by 800 CE and was in use until after 1250 CE. The site is named in honor of chiropractor Don Dickson, who began excavating it in 1927 and opened a private museum that formerly operated on the site.Don Dickson was a chiropractor and discovered the burial mounds on his family farm. Instead of removing the bones, he only removed the dirt. He covered his excavation with a tent. He later replaced his tent with a building and set up a private museum.The Dickson Mounds Museum is a museum erected on the site in 1972 by the U.S. state of Illinois; it describes the life cycles and culture of Native Americans living in the Illinois River valley over a period of 12,000 years since the last Ice Age. The museum is part of the Illinois State Museum system. As part of the Illinois State Museum system, the Dickson Mounds Museum closed indefinitely on September 30, 2015, pursuant to State budgetary action.Native life siteWhile the members of most hunter-gatherer cultures travel extensively or even practice a nomadic lifestyle, the exceptional productivity of the Illinois River valley in fish, shellfish and game made it possible for semi-permanent settlements to develop. Archaeological examination of these sites have generated significant insights into the living conditions of Native Americans over time and the levels of technology they possessed.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Was here when I was a kid, before the remains were forced to be covered. My boyfriend was here for a visit, and I thought this would be something different to do. It's a very educational and moving ex...  more »
  • A truly moving place, the burial site of the tribes that lived in the Mississippi valley. the digs have been cover by court order, but the exhibits are still worth the trip. Several movies tell the hi...  more »
  • This is a beautiful building with much strong information. Unfortunately it was marred by a couple of problems. Apparently there was a mound within walking distance but we could not find it. When we a...  more »
Google
  • Dickson Mounds State Museum is worth the time and drive. The exhibits are fascinating and the museum itself is located in a beautiful setting along the Illinois river bluffs. It is a real gem of a place and one that I will return to.
  • Newly renovated very nice and informative
  • Very nice
  • This is another archaeology site that I would like to visit again. It is nestled between two small towns in Central Illinois and placed upon a bluff that over looks the Emiquon Reserve and the Illinois River system. The museum had some areas under construction or waiting for exhibits to arrive, so some places were off limits. I believe my most favorite room was the "Reflections" room where the multiple skeletons were covered over by a cement slab and an audio and visual show replaced the viewing of the skeletons.
  • Excellent museum that studies numerous Native sites. Wide range of Native artifacts with understandable descriptions of their uses. Highly recommended.