A Hidden Mid-South Treasure
We take you back in time. Before Europeans set foot upon Mississippi Valley soil, American Indians flourished along the shores of the Mighty Mississippi River. The C.H. Nash Museum at the Prehistoric Chucalissa Archaeological Site lets families, students, tourists and history buffs celebrate and discover the vibrant and sophisticated culture of these ancient people.
A whole new world of learning. Operated by the University of Memphis (including the museum, grounds, gift shop and picnic area), you'll find that there is so much to explore — the prehistoric American Indian 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.
The C.H. Nash Museum was founded in 1956 following the 1930s rediscovery of a Mississippian (AD 1000 - 1500) mound complex by workers preparing for the Jim Crow era Shelby County Negro Park (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 archaeologists and as a place for the public to come and learn more about the remarkable science of archaeology.
Plan a trip today! You've come to the right place to plan an outing to discover accurate information about how the Native Americans first settled and lived in the Mid-South. Their descendants, including the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Quapaw and Cherokee, are a few of the contemporary tribes that still live in this region. We hope you will click through our website to plan your visit to this special hidden treasure, located just outside the city of Memphis.
The mission of the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa, a division of the University of Memphis, is to protect and interpret the Chucalissa archaeological site’s cultural and natural environments, and to provide the University Community and the Public with exceptional educational, participatory, and research opportunities on the landscape’s past and present Native American and traditional cultures.