So, Your Kid Wants to be an Archaeologist? :: Visit Chucalissa!

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Memphis is truly lucky to have a museum and grounds such as Chucalissa in our city. A big thank you to the University of Memphis for maintaining and spreading awareness to our readers about this local, educational resource.

Go back in time. 

Native American societies flourished along the shores of the Mighty Mississippi River for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. The C.H. Nash Museum at the Prehistoric Chucalissa Archaeological Site celebrates the vibrant and sophisticated culture of these ancient people.

Discover a whole new world of learning.

You’ll find that there is so much to explore: the prehistoric Native American mound complex, a hands-on archaeology laboratory, exhibits on the prehistoric and historic occupations of the region, a nature trail, a fully certified arboretum, and a fascinating array of plant species used for medicinal, dye, and other ancient purposes. 

Chucalissa outdoor Mound

The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa was founded in 1956 following the 1930s rediscovery of a Mississippian (AD 1000 – 1500) mound complex by workers preparing for what is now the T.O. Fuller State Park. The earthen mounds — still standing today — are believed to have been constructed and occupied between 1000-1500 AD by the people of the Mississippian culture who used platform mounds for ceremonies and residences of high-ranking officials within their culture.

The site is now used as a laboratory for training University of Memphis students and as a place for the public to learn more about the remarkable science of archaeology! 

Dart throwing during family day at Chucalissa

Plan a field trip today!

Contact Chucalissa at least two weeks in advance at 901-785-3160 or chucalissa@memphis.edu. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more.  Guided tours typically take around 90 minutes to complete. They have beautiful picnic areas available for your group to enjoy before or after your tour. If you have more time, you can also take a self-guided tour of the nature trail and arboretum.

What does a guided tour of Chucalissa include?

  • Scavenger hunt. Search the exhibit gallery to answer questions about how Native Americans in the Memphis area lived 1,000 years ago.          Chucalissa scavenger hunt
  • Educational program. Select an interactive, hands-on program from our menu of options. We have programs suitable for students of all ages.
  • Craft. Choose a fun, educational craft activity for your group. Crafts may be done on site or kits can be provided for later use.
  • Outdoor tour. Climb the mounds and go inside a fully furnished replica house to experience how people lived during the Mississippian period. Try your hand at using an ancient hunting weapon.
  • Hands-on lab. Learn how archaeologists at Chucalissa conduct excavations and analyze artifacts. Handle real Native American artifacts that are thousands of years old.                  Hand on lab

For more details on educational programs, crafts and group rates, visit our Teacher Resource Guide. We encourage everyone to access our downloadable Educational Activities Packet and let the fun begin even before your visit to Chucalissa!

Or join us for a special visit & springtime playdate on Saturday, May 7th — Free! 

Chucalissa adatlatl

 

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