Wickliffe Mounds to host public ceremony - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Wickliffe Mounds to host public ceremony


Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site will host a ceremony Thursday, August 23, to acknowledge the reburial of excavated remains and restoration of the burial mound.

The 10 a.m. program will include officials from the Chickasaw Nation and the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.

Wickliffe Mounds is an archeological site of a Native American village of the Mississippian culture.

The site was first excavated in the 1930's by a private owner, revealing numerous burials that were placed on public view.

Murray State University took over the site in 1983 and sponsored archeological field schools and scientific research under the direction of a professional archeologist, Dr. Kit Wessler.

In 1991, after the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the remains were taken from public view and the cemetery exhibit was updated with new interpretive information including replicas of a few of the burials.

In 2004, the site was transferred to the Kentucky Department of Parks and became a state historic site.

The cemetery mound project included reburial of the remains and reconstruction of the original burial mound.

The Chickasaw Nation, a federally recognized tribe that has taken a leading role in consultations with Wickliffe Mounds and Kentucky State Parks, oversaw the reburial in June 2011.

"It is gratifying to reach this agreement, because we have a solemn responsibility to see that our ancestors are treated with the respect they deserve," said Chickasaw Nation governor Billy Annoatubby.

Wessler, of the Department of Geosciences, Murray State University, provided the archeological support.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which will include the Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe.

The August 23 ceremony and museum admission are free of charge.

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