A visit to the Prehistoric Indian Village in Mitchell, SD
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village
The Village is the only archaeological site in South Dakota that is open to the public. It was discovered in 1910 by a student from Dakota Wesleyan University. The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village Preservation Society was formed in 1975 to preserve the site. "Our mission statement is to promote an understanding of the first people to inhabit in this region by developing, preserving and exhibiting a significant collection and archaeological site; by taking a leadership role in research and scholarship; by engaging and providing access for audiences from all nations; and by delivering innovative programs of benefit to the general public and community."
We were invited to the Prehistoric Indian Village and Kate, student and working at the Indian Village, gave us a tour and told us so many interesting facts. History is very imporant and when we, as Europeans, ride through the Mid-West and experience the enormous space, the freedom of the open prairies, we've often wondered about how the Indians must have lived. We feel honoured that we are invited and join the Klock Werks crew. This is a great opportunity to see how people lived like in the past.
The Prehistoric Indian Village in Mitchell, SD
is covered to protect the excavations
Students from the University of Exeter, Exeter, England come each summer for our annual Summer Archaeology Field School to continue excavations of the site. "Over the years we have learned much about the people who lived here 1,100 years ago. We have learned that this site was a major bison processing center, our people were processing bison on an industrial scale to extract bone grease for the manufacture of pemmican. We also know that these people were skilled farmers, growing crops such as corn, beans, squashes, sunflower, tobacco and amaranth."
The people who lived here lived in earthen lodges (teepees are a 'modern' convenience - it was after the introduction of horses that made it possible for the nomadic tribes to live in teepees) that were built on a bluff overlooking what was then a creek; the creek was dammed in 1928 to create Lake Mitchell. There are 70 to 80 lodges buried on our grounds.
Excavations take place in the Thomsen Center Archeodome. "When funding allows, we are ableto work all year around in the comfort of the Archeodome. The laboratory and exhibits are also found in the Archeodome."
The Boehnen Memorial Museum houses a full-sized reproduction of an earthen lodge, exhibits, a bison skeleton, video room, student library, staff offices and the Shoppe Antiquary.
Corn, did they have a Corn Palace 1.100 years ago?
I guess ot, but they already were growing it!
Beautiful art and paintings
Many artefacts on display
Horst 'pins it down'
The excavation site
Kate told us many interesting facts
about the Prehistoric Village in Mitchell, SD
Oh there she is again! Corn Katie!
The Flame of Wisdom
Pre-Historic Indian Village
3200 Indian Village Road Mitchell, South Dakota 57301
Phone 605.996-5473 http://mitchellindianvillage.com
Onno “Berserk” Wieringa - Photo’s Onno & G-Rat
Special Thanks to the City of Sturgis, The Buffalo Chip,
John Parham (National MC Museum Anamosa, IA)
and Richie & Donna for all your help, kindness and hospitality!
Please check out the 102 photo's we made
in the Prehistoric Indian Village, Mitchell, SD