“the only archaeological site in South Dakota open to the public!”
Long before there was a Corn Palace, long before there was a mill on the James River and long before the French fur traders came to this area, there was a small village of perhaps 200 people. This village, whose name we shall never know, sat on a bluff, overlooking a creek that we call Firesteel. On the fertile banks of the creek, the villagers grew corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and amaranth. Today the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village is the only archaeological site in South Dakota open to the public. It is a National Historic Landmark. Each summer archaeologists come and excavate the site, and each summer we learn more about the first settlers who lived here in the Northern Plains. Guests can watch as the archaeologists uncover artifacts in the comfort of the Thomsen Center Archeodome and tour the Boehnen Memorial Museum to see a reconstructed lodge and many of the 1.5 million artifacts found over the years.
Great place to stop. The tour was very informative. Our guide was great with so many stories and information that wasn't on the signs. It was awesome seeing an actual archeological site. Kids could even pretend to be archeologists and dig up a plastic arrowhead in a sand box. They turned in the plastic one for a stone one at the gift shop. Very cool place!
I wanted to see more of Dakota Native American history as it is conveniently glossed over or made PG. It's definitely still told from a white settler perspective.....
This place is really worth a stop! They do an amazing job of story telling and sharing the science and wonder of archeology with all ages! Super knowledgeable and kind docent staff and fascinating active research going on not to mention excellent exhibits on Native American history, the origins of corn and hands-on archeology demos. a MUST see!
Very informative and neat to see actual archeological dig site. It was very slow because we went on Memorial Day. Glad we stopped.
Worth the stop to experience Indian village life in 1000 AD and see an archeology dig site. During summer you may even see some college students digging.
Really interesting place to stop. The museum was really informative and they had a great selection of artifacts. Our 2 year old loved the replicas but she preferred the pit outside where kids can dig for arrowheads. The actual dig site was way better than I was expecting. I had to drag my husband away because my 2 year old was not being the safest on the ramps above the pits. Overall it was a great experience. You do have to take a trail from the parking area to the museum but it is not a horrible walk.
This is definitely chocked full of history! If that's your thing, you'll love it. If not, it won't be for you. There is an optional 20 minute video. Otherwise, plan on being here for half an hour or so.
It was okay. I think some of the free attractions around town were better, though.
Well worth the stop. Interesting history and a real archeological dig site to see. Plan ~60-90 minutes.
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Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village
- Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Sun: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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