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Archeology Awareness Days at Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village this weekend

The 33rd annual Archeology Awareness Days will take place at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village on Saturday and Sunday, providing visitors with the opportunity to learn more about American Indian cultures and their tools and traditions.

The 33rd annual Archeology Awareness Days will take place at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village on Saturday and Sunday, providing visitors with the opportunity to learn more about American Indian cultures and their tools and traditions.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

The two-day event will include flint knapping demonstrations and atlatl lessons, along with other primitive technologies. Visitors will be able to make a piece of pottery in the manner the occupants of the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village did 1,000 years ago, and will be able to take their pottery home with them.

American Indian cultural presenters will include Jerome Kills Small, who will be telling Trickster stories, and Belinda Joe, who will be talking about American Indian women's culture. Visitors can also bring artifacts for identification by archaeologists and researchers with expertise in bone tools, pottery and other artifacts.

"Archeology Days combines education with fun. The event is a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to learn more about the early human occupants of South Dakota," said Cindy Gregg, the executive director of the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village.

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The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village, located north of Mitchell, is a National Trust for Historic Preservation site that was occupied more than 1,000 years ago by American Indians who lived in earthen lodges. The occupants of the village were skilled farmers, growing crops such as corn, beans, squashes, sunflower, tobacco and amaranth. There are an estimated 70 to 80 lodges buried on the grounds of the site.

The site includes the Boehnen Memorial Museum, which contains a reproduction earth lodge, and the Thomsen Center Archeodome, which contains the ruins of several earth lodges. Every summer, archaeology and anthropology students from the University of Exeter, England, and Augustana University, Sioux Falls, excavate the site as part of the village's Archaeology Summer Field School program.

An admission fee is charged from April 1 to Oct. 31 to help offset the cost of operating the village. Adults cost $6, Senior citizens (60+) are $5, children (ages 6-18) and college students with valid student IDs are $4. Children 5 and under are admitted for free. Bus tours are $75 per bus.

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