The First Peoples

The First Peoples13,000 BC–AD 1518

Native American mounds rise up across Mississippi’s landscape today. Who built these mysterious earthworks, and why? This gallery explores the sophisticated cultures of the first people to call this land home. Walk through time as you view archaeological finds—including pottery, tools, and weapons—that tell the story of these ancient cultures. 

  • Hear the origin stories of the Choctaw and Chickasaw people.
  • Examine a 500-year-old dugout canoe.
  • Lift a basket of dirt to experience how Native Americans built massive earthworks by hand.