Before Europeans set foot upon Mississippi Valley Soil, American Indians developed a vibrant and sophisticated culture in the Memphis area. The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa allows visitors to explore the lifeways of these people.
Operated by the University of Memphis, the museum serves as a gateway into understanding the science of archaeology and the interpretation of Native American and traditional cultures of the area. Our museum exhibits interpret the prehistory of the Mid-South, contemporary Southeastern Native Americans, and the African American cultural heritage of the Chucalissa site's landscape.
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). At that time, the site was separated from the park and developed as a laboratory for training archaeologists and as a place to interpret archaeology to the broader public. While continuing these essential tasks, today, we strive to integrate our facility back into the Southwest Memphis neighborhood as a community partner and cultural asset for all.
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.