Archaeology Day 2019

9/14/2019 | Graham Cave State Park | Danville, MO

Visitors of all ages are encouraged to help park staff celebrate Archaeology Day 2019 at Graham Cave State Park, one of Missouri’s most significant archaeological landmarks. Graham Cave was excavated in the 1940s and 1950s by archaeologists and was found to have 10,000 years of occupancy. As a result of these discoveries, Graham Cave became the first archaeological site in the United States to be designated a National Historical Landmark, receiving this recognition in 1961. Three years later, it became a state park.

Archaeology Day 2019 will start at 11 a.m. at the lower picnic area pavilion as park staff members host an open public meeting, seek visitor comments, and serve up fresh-cooked pies and other refreshments during Dutch-oven cooking demonstrations.

After the open public meeting, participants will have an opportunity to see how Native Americans utilized the atlatl tool for hunting. World Atlatl Association members will demonstrate the accuracy and techniques of using atlatls and hold member competitions. Near the cave opening and in the lower parking area, several other activities will be happening as well, including a model archaeological excavation and a storytelling activity.


11 a.m. - Public meeting with Dutch-oven cooking demo and food sampling - Lower picnic area pavilion

  • Informational public meeting to seek visitor comments - includes updates on park activities for the past year and upcoming projects; visitor comments encouraged
  • Dutch-oven cooking demonstration and food sampling - Fresh stew and blueberry cobbler is on the menu. Guest Chef Dean is back by popular request.

Noon - Atlatl (spear and dart) demonstrations, throwing and member competition - Behind lower picnic area pavilion

  • World Atlatl Association members will demonstrate the accuracy and techniques of using atlatls and hold member competitions. Participants will have an opportunity to experience how Native Americans utilized the atlatl for hunting prior to the bow and arrow.

Noon - 4 p.m. - Archaeological excavation model and historic and prehistoric displays - In front of Graham Cave

  • Archaeological excavation model for children to learn scientific techniques - miniature dig sites/"What's in the box?"
  • Graham family historic displays, artifacts and photos/displays by local organizations
  • Flint knapping and deer bone fishhook-making demonstrations
  • Pottery reconstruction and analysis: application for understanding day-to-day lives of past cultures
  • And much more ...

6 p.m. - 7 p.m. - Storytelling by guest Marilyn Kinsella - In front of Graham Cave

  • Bring a blanket or chair and listen as storyteller Marilyn Kinsella shares Native American stories, fire myths and a variety of plant and animal tales. The event will be set against the prehistoric rock outcroppings of Graham Cave. Kinsella has been featured at many storytelling festivals throughout the nation. These stories are for audiences of all ages.

For more information about this event, contact the park office at 573-564-3476.

Event times: 11 a.m - 7 p.m.
217 Highway TT, Danville, MO | (573) 564-3476

Associated activities

  • Interpretive Programs