Rich history at a local Native American burial mound site

Significance of historical burial grounds
(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)
(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)

WICKLIFFE, KY (KFVS) - Visitors say they appreciate learning about an established Native American burial mound in the Heartland that has been around since 1932.

Recently, a Native American burial site was discovered in New Madrid County, Mo.

It is not yet known what archaeologists will find there, but we do know of a rich history at another local site.

Max Russell and his family decided to start their vacation with some Native American history at Wickliffe Mounds.

"Trying to tell our kids how much history is in southern Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri there's a lot of things to see in this area."

A Mississippian culture that roamed the grounds where park manager Carla Hildebrand has worked for 18 years.

"Villages are every five to ten miles, up and down the rivers here - there's not a lot of Mississippian period archaeological sites in our region of country open to the public," Hildebrand said.

Hildebrand said the site was excavated in 1932, and after 1990 congress passed a federal law that is meant to protect native American burial sites.

"We took that time to really think about what we needed to do here, to consult with Native Americans tribes, to consult with archaeologists and it was determined that the Chickasaw nation would play the leading role in the reburial NAGPRA issues at the Wickliff mounds site," she said. "In 2011, we reburied all of the remains here in the original mound."

Hildebrand said you never know what to expect when it comes to different historic sites.

"Sometimes you'll get significant site information and sometimes it's just a little bit of scatter of artifacts."

She said the Mississippians were located in the heartland but there were other cultures as well.

"These vast culture of Mississippian people were all over the area here in the tri-state area [of] Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky."

Director of Communications Tom Bastian for Missouri Department of Natural Resources responded on the current status of the newly found burial site in New Madrid County.

The provisions of the Unmarked Human Burial Sites Act (Missouri Revised Statutes, Sections 194.400-410), are administered by the Department of Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Office.

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