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Cahokia Mounds Museum Society Awarded $100,000 Grant

COLLINSVILLE, IL – The Cahokia Mounds Museum Society (CMMS), the support group of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, has been awarded a $100,000 Digital Projects for the Humanities Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The Cahokia Mounds Museum Society will use the digital projects grant to develop a functional prototype of an augmented reality application that will be available for smart phones and other platforms, and an educational website featuring the Cahokia Mounds site.

Using the application, as visitors look through the lens of their smartphone from the top of the 10-story Monks Mound, GPS tracking will identify hotspots which, when activated, will enable visitors to “see” structures once visible on the pre-Columbian landscape superimposed on the modern landscape. In addition, an educational website will include video and other content about the ancient Cahokia Mounds site and its associated sites.

“We are very excited to have received this funding,” said Lori Belknap, Executive Director of the CMMS. “We have been working with Schwartz and Associates of St. Louis for the last few years to bring this concept to fruition. Once the multi-year project is complete, the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site will have cutting-edge technology and interpretive tools that will enhance visitors’ experiences by giving them the opportunity to visualize what the ancient site may have looked like, a difficult task at an archaeological site.”

The grant to the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society is among $14.8 million in NEH grants awarded to 253 humanities projects in 44 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

“From cutting-edge digital projects to the painstaking practice of traditional scholarly research, these new NEH grants represent the humanities at its most vital and creative,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “These projects will shed new light on age-old questions, safeguard our cultural heritage, and expand educational opportunities in classrooms nationwide.”

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is located just eight miles from downtown St. Louis in Collinsville, Illinois, off Interstates 55/70 (exit 6) and Interstate 255 (exit 24), on Collinsville Road. For more information about the site: https://cahokiamounds.org/.