First Tennesseans


Prehistoric Indian cultures existed in Tennessee through four evolving periods, beginning about 15,000 years ago, peaking between 800 and 1650 A.D. with the Mississippian people, and ending with the ascendancy of such modern tribes as the Cherokee and Chickasaw.

A mastodon from Paleolithic periodArtifacts from the Paleolithic, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods are on exhibit. The museum even has a display of bones from a mastodon that roamed Tennessee 10,000 years ago.

Other artifacts of note include:

  • A steatite shaman's medicine tube;
  • Thruston and Hutcherson pictographs, two of the most important discoveries of late prehistoric politico-religious art found in Tennessee; and
  • Dover flint mace that was a symbol of power for a Mississippian leader some 500-700 years ago.

Return to Permanent Exhibits

Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120
FREE ADMISSION
 
Open: Tuesday - Saturday:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Closed: Mondays and four holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
(615) 741-2692
TOLL-FREE: 800-407-4324
museuminfo@tnmuseum.org

 

 

 

 
 
tn4me
Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120
FREE ADMISSION
 
Open: Tuesday - Saturday:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Closed: Mondays and four holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
(615) 741-2692
TOLL-FREE: 800-407-4324
museuminfo@tnmuseum.org

 

 

 

 
 
tn4me