Indian Village plans new exhibitGrant given to help explain impact of fire at 1,000-year-old site.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village has received a $4,000 donation from Wells Fargo Bank, Mitchell, for the creation and installation of a new exhibit titled “Fire in the Village.”
The exhibit explains the serious effects a fire might have had on the Indian village about 1,000 years ago.
The exhibit will be completed in April, said Executive Director Cindy Gregg.
During the past several seasons of excavation at the village, archaeologists have been investigating an area of a prehistoric earth lodge that was severely damaged by fire.
The find was uncovered by students of Dr. Alan Outram who were on a working visit to the village from the University of Exeter, England, in 2011.
Of special interest was an area in one corner of the lodge where a collection of stone tools had been trapped in the fire and cracked by the heat.
The find is significant because it tells archeologists the fire was unanticipated. It also represents direct evidence of how crucial the circumstances of fires could become for the inhabitants of the village.
The destruction of the stone tools represented a significant economic loss for the village in terms of the time invested in their manufacture and the time lost for using the tools.
The new exhibit freezes the fire event in time, Gregg said.
“A mold was made of the actual floor surface of the lodge. It was then cast in resin and prepared for a permanent display in the Thomsen Center Archeodome.”
The exhibit will help provide visitors to the site a better understanding of how archeologists interpret artifacts and how the artifacts are found to give a better picture of the day-to-day lives of the people who lived in the village.