Reburial ceremony at Wickliffe Mounds on June 8 postponed
WICKLIFFE, Ky. – Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site will host a public ceremony Friday, June 8, 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 Kentucky State Parks.
Update: The public ceremony to acknowledge the reburial of excavated remains and restoration of the burial mound – will be rescheduled at a later time.
Family Fun Archaeology Day at Wickliffe Mounds will still be held June 9, when demonstrations of prehistoric technology and archaeology will be presented from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Event admission is $5 for adults or $4 for kids. Groups of 10 or more may call for group rates.
The orignal release is below.
Wickliffe Mounds is an archaeological site of a Native American village of the Mississippian culture. The site was first excavated in the 1930s by a private owner, revealing numerous burials that were placed on public view.
Murray State University took over the site in 1983 and sponsored archaeological field schools and scientific research under the direction of a professional archaeologist, Dr. Kit Wesler.
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 burials. Forensic studies of the remains were performed and consultations with Native Americans began.
In 2004, the site was transferred to the Kentucky Department of Parks and became a state historic site. The remains were kept in a secure area until consultations with Native American tribes, archaeologists and further documentation could be completed.
The Chickasaw Nation has been working with Wickliffe Mounds representatives, Kentucky State Parks, other Native American tribes and archaeologists from Murray State University and the Kentucky Heritage Council for some time on an agreement for a reburial of the remains.
“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 Bill Anoatubby.
The cemetery mound project included a reburial of the Native American remains and reconstruction of the original burial mound. The Chickasaw Nation, a federally recognized tribe that has taken the leading role in consultations with Wickliffe Mounds and Kentucky State Parks, oversaw the reburial in June 2011. Wesler, of the Department of Geosciences, Murray State University, provided the archaeological support.
The park continues to develop new interpretive information to tell the story of the Mississippian people who occupied the site at Wickliffe Mounds nearly a thousand years ago, creating an educational park for all visitors to experience today.
The public is invited to attend the reburial ceremony, which will include the Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe, representatives of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Department of Parks, and Boy Scout Troop 3 of Murray, Ky., as the color guard. The June 8 reburial ceremony and museum admission are free of charge.
Family Fun Archaeology Day will be held the next day, June 9, and demonstrations of prehistoric technology and archaeology will be presented from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Event admission is $5 for adults or $4 for kids. Groups of 10 or more may call for group rates.
Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site has a museum, welcome center, gift shop, picnic area and walking trail and is located at 94 Green St. in Wickliffe, on the Mississippi River’s Great River Road National Scenic Byway. The park is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (270)335-3681, click here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.