Welcome to the

Meet Dr. Mac & Learn About

Missouri's Ancient Cultures

"Oh, hi there. Thanks for stopping in. My name is Dr. Mac Quest. But you can call me Dr. Mac. I'm an archaeologist. I sure could use a break from all this paperwork! How about I show you around? Scroll down to take a look."

Thank you to artist Thomas Kerr for the use of his drawing.

Welcome to the MAC Quest Program! This site has been designed to help 4th graders learn about Missouri's ancient cultures. Ancient history didn't just happen in far off places like Rome or Athens. It happened right here in Missouri. It probably happened right in your own backyard!

People have lived in Missouri for thousands of years. Scientists called archaeologists have uncovered thousands of archaeological sites across Missouri. They've carefully studied millions of artifacts (things left by ancient people) and have learned a great deal about the various groups who lived here. The MAC Quest Program will help you learn about archaeology, as well as some of the things archaeologists have learned about the ancient inhabitants of Missouri. You will discover how lifestyle changed over time, as people became better and better at obtaining and using the things they needed for survival. Look for special Innovation Boxes throughout the MAC Quest Program. These will help point out significant innovations present at the featured archaeological sites.

Getting Started:

* Teachers are encouraged to start with the Teacher Instruction Page.

* Students using the MAC Quest Program as part of a class project should follow the directions provided by your teacher.

* Students using the MAC Quest Program for independent study should start their journey at the Archaeology Overview Page and then move to the Featured Archaeological Sites/Excavations.


Teacher Instruction Page

Quick Quest - A traditional worksheet lesson

MAC Webquest - A full Webquest lesson—not yet available.

Archaeology Overview - Start Your Quest Here!!!


Featured Archaeological Sites/Excavations:

Scientists have divided Native American or American Indian history into numerous periods and phases. The materials in the MAC Quest Program are presented using the following simplified time periods. As you broaden your studies beyond the MAC Quest Program, you will come across many different period labels and dates. Don't be confused by these various dates and labels. Missouri is a large state. Not all lifestyle changes happened in the same way, at the same time across the State. The MAC Quest Program periods and dates most accurately reflect the changes that occured in the St. Louis region. As additional archaeological sites from across the State are added, any adjustments in period names and dates will be noted within the information available for those sites.

Paleoindian 9,500 - 8,500 BC
Dalton 8,500 - 7,900 BC
Early Archaic 7,900 - 6,000 BC
Middle Archaic 6,000 - 3,000 BC
Late Archaic 3,000 - 600 BC
Early Woodland 600 BC - AD 150
Middle Woodland AD 150 - 300
Late Woodland AD 300 - 800
Emergent Mississippian AD 800 - 1,000
Mississippian AD 1,000-1,400
Historic Post European Contact

To review a brief summary of each of the archaeological time periods, click the following link:

Brief summary of Missouri's archaeological periods.


The MAC Quest Program currently features four archaeological sites. Additional sites from across Missouri will be added in the future. Visit this site often to see if archaeological sites near your home have been added.

The Big Eddy - Cedar County, Missouri (.doc Word File).

Martens Paleoindian Site - Chesterfield, Missouri

Hayden Late Archaic Site - Chesterfield, Missouri

River Bend School Late Woodland Site - Chesterfield, Missouri

River Bend Estates & River Bend East Mississippian Sites - Chesterfield, Missouri

We hope to be adding additional sites from across Missouri. Check back soon to see if we've added one from your area.

Check out Dr. Mac's Big Messy Desk: All Kinds of Extra Stuff!!!

Click here for Dr. Mac's Big Messy Desk

Contact Dr. Mac

The following organizations have contributed to the MAC Quest Program:

The Missouri Archaeological Society, Chesterfield Landmarks Preservation Commission, River Bend School - Parkway School District, and archaeologists from the following institutions: The University of Missouri–St. Louis, St. Louis Community College, Washington University, The University of Missouri–Columbia, and Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis.

Special thanks to Whitfield School for computer support. Additional thanks to the volunteer members of the MAC Quest Program content review committee: Timothy Baumann, Patti Wright, Joseph Harl, and Richard Martens. Thanks to Melody Galen for Web page publishing assistance. Extra special thanks to artist Thomas Kerr for allowing the use of his drawing of The Big Messy Desk for our Dr. Mac Quest mascot.