Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Part of the American Midwest, Kansas takes its name from the Kansa, a Siouan-speaking people who lived in the central part of the modern state. Kansas is home to the most northerly pueblo ruins in North America, reflecting a society that existed from around 1200 to 1500, before being replaced by more mobile populations. Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century, while France claimed the territory in the late 17th before selling it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The U.S. classified Kansas as part of ‘Indian Territory’ where it sought to relocate indigenous peoples, before opening it up to European American settlement and giving it statehood in 1861. Today, this major agricultural state encompasses the geographical centre of the coterminous United States.

Archaeology & History Sites in Kansas

Fort Scott National Historic Site

Standing in the eponymous city, the military installation at Fort Scott opened in 1842. It served as a base for the U.S. Army which could help defend the growing number of American settlers pushing westward. After a period in the 1850s during which it was sold off for civilian use, the army reoccupied the fort during the American Civil War. The fort underwent restoration during the 1960s and now operates as a heritage attraction.

Museums & Art Galleries in Kansas

Kansas Museum of History

Run by the Kansas Historical Society, the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka showcases the heritage of the so-called Sunflower State. Displays range from prehistory to the present and include a broad range of archaeological and historical artefacts as well as reconstructions of such features as a Southern Cheyenne tipi and a 1950s diner. The museum now occupies a purpose-built brutalist structure erected in the 1980, but is currently closed for major renovations.