Dickson Mound

Site Type: 
Archaeological Site
GPS Coordinates: 
40.350404 -90.115491
Waypoint Name: 
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Location access: 
Located on the grounds of Dickson Mounds Museum. Use main parking lot.

You are standing upon one of the remaining sections of the Dickson burial mound. Dickson Mounds was named for the Dickson family who purchased the land for a farm and orchard in 1834.

Dickson Mound

Dickson Mound

While preparing the land to plant fruit trees, workers began discovering artifacts and bones. They also discovered the mounds that dotted the area were man-made, and that some of them were constructed to house the dead.

But it wasn't until the 1920s - during an era when the discovery of King Tut's tomb in Egypt captivated the nation's interest in archaeology - that Don Dickson, a chiropractor turned archaeologist, began excavating the burial mounds and turned the site into a museum. The site soon became famous for the study of Native Americans in the 1930s, when archaeologists from the University of Chicago began excavating other sites in the area.

The State of Illinois purchased the site for a state park in 1945, and it became a part of the Illinois State Museum in the 1960s. Dickson Mounds was, and still is, considered the premier site for the study and interpretation of the prehistory of the Illinois River Valley, one of the richest archaeological regions in the United States.

Click here to hear Don Dickson interviewed by Jim Lockard, Illinois Department of Conservation, Outdoors in Illinois, 1969. Click here for MP3 format.

Don DicksonDon Dickson


Dickson Mound
Just southeast of Dickson Mounds Museum
Full address:
Dickson Mound, Just southeast of Dickson Mounds Museum, 10956 N. Dickson Mounds Rd, Lewistown,, IL, 61542, United States
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