Visitors explore a bird’s-eye view replica of Teotihuacan, the largest city in the Americas (and one of the largest in the world) between AD 100 and 700.

Robert R. McCormick Halls of the Ancient Americas

Category: Exhibition

Exhibition Summary


Included with Basic admission

Targeted age groups

All ages


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The Ancient Americas and Northwest Coast Halls will be closed for maintenance beginning May 20 and remain closed through May 30.

Discover how ancient cultures intertwine with our own.

Robert R. McCormick Halls of the Ancient Americas is a journey through 13,000 years of human ingenuity and achievement in the Western Hemisphere, where diverse societies thrived long before the arrival of Europeans.

Through interactive features, floor-to-ceiling displays, and thousands of artifacts, this immersive exhibition explores the ancient peoples of the Americas, from hunters and gatherers to the Aztec and Inca empires—and from the arrival of European settlers to the present day.

Discover what we’ve learned recently about these advanced early civilizations and what cultural practices teach us about our own way of life in the 21st century.

Take a closer look at artifacts that teach us how these past cultures lived.

Exhibition highlights:

  • A collection of hand-carved tools used by Ice Age hunters
  • A full-sized (12 feet in diameter) replica of the Aztec Sun Stone
  • Gold, redstone, and greenstone luxury pieces from Colombia

Why are some display cases covered?

The Field Museum has covered several display cases in the Robert R. McCormick Halls of the Ancient Americas and the Alsdorf Hall of Northwest Coast and Arctic Peoples, which display cultural items from Native American communities throughout the United States. 

Recent updates to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) now require consent from lineal descendants and/or affiliated Native American Tribes or Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs) in order for Native American sacred objects, objects of cultural patrimony, funerary objects, and/or human remains to be on view. 

Pending further review and/or consultation, for the time being we have covered all cases that we believe contain cultural items that could be subject to these regulations.

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Living descendants

Tens of millions of Indigenous people lived in the Americas when the first European explorers landed on its shores. But within a few hundred years, disease, slavery, and warfare had killed three out of every four of those Indigenous people—destroying many of their cultures in the process.

Still, Indigenous languages, histories, and cultural traditions have survived into the present day. The descendants of these past peoples continue to keep their histories and cultural traditions alive by sharing them with others.

The Ancient Americas exhibition and its related educational programs were created in collaboration with Indigenous and Latino advisors from throughout the Americas. These dedicated individuals provided mentorship and guidance throughout the course of this project.

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