Those Dam Sites: Recent Archaeological Research in the Dakotas

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

Historically, large federally funded projects have been a catalyst for archaeological inquiry in the Dakotas. In the middle of the 20th century, the construction of massive and numerous dams, used for hydropower, irrigation, navigation, and recreation, spurred salvage projects in the region. But the continuing legacy of the Missouri Basin Project is not the only story. With a combination of cultural resource and academic projects, archaeology is flourishing in the Dakotas. Whether using the tried and true methods or incorporating technological advances, archaeologists have utilized a diverse set of tools to solve problems, both from a research standpoint and in the development of unique approaches to heritage management.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Boots on the Ground and Planes in the Air: Assessing Damage to Archaeological Sites Caused by the 2011 Missouri River Floods (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Clark.

    In the spring of 2011, the Missouri River Mainstem received unprecedented combination of snow melt and rain causing widespread flooding unseen since the construction of the Missouri River Dams. One of the consequences of the flooding was damage to archaeological sites located on the lands surrounding the reservoirs. As a result, South Dakota State Historical Society (SDSHS) partnered with the University of Arkansas Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) to assess potential damages...

  • Buried Middle Archaic Period Occupations on the James River at 39BE122 (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only James Donohue.

    Evaluative test excavations were conducted at 39BE122 for the Bureau of Reclamation. One test unit and eight backhoe trenches were excavated. Six paleosols were documented in the upper 3 m of alluvium, four of which yielded evidence for cultural components. Four to five components were found from 140 to 290 cm below surface. Radiocarbon dates of 3690+/-30 B.P. from Component 2 and 5140 +/- 30 B.P. from Component 4 demonstrate a Plains Middle Archaic age for the site. The size, artifact...

  • Occupation Lengths in Middle Missouri Sites (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jennifer Deats.

    Collections and reports from Middle Missouri salvage archaeology, conducted primarily in the 1950s, hold a wealth of information about Plains Village farming communities, much of which is still being studied. In this paper, I provide a basis for the assessment of occupation lengths in the Middle Missouri utilizing data culled from site reports on several Middle Missouri sites, spanning time and space. This study utilizes evidence of repair of housing structures, overlapping storage pits, and...

  • Remote Sensing Investigations at Midipadi Butte (32DU2) and Nightwalker’s Butte (32ML39), North Dakota (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Adam Wiewel. Autumn Cool. Christopher Fletcher. Taylor Thornton. James Zimmer-Dauphinee.

    As part of a flood assessment effort in collaboration with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the South Dakota State Historical Society, archaeo-geophysicists from the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas performed remote sensing investigations in 2014 at fifteen sites along the Missouri River in North and South Dakota. Among these are Midipadi and Nightwalker, two related late eighteenth to early nineteenth century Hidatsa sites located on opposite sides of...

  • Revisiting Like-A-Fishhook: Coalescence and Community on the Missouri River, North Dakota (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Wendi Field Murray.

    Critical attention to the concept of "community" in archaeological research over the last decade has recast communities from homogeneous groups of people living at a site to emergent networks of social interaction that both derive from and are reproduced by a sense of common interest and affiliation (Wernke 2007). Coalescent communities are in a constant state of becoming, as residents must continuously negotiate aspects of their identities in ways that mitigate conflict. Historical records...

  • Rocks in Our Heads: Recent Investigations in Knife River Flint Quarry Area (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Debra Green. Damita Engel. Dante Knapp. Kimball Banks.

    The Knife River flint primary source area was one of, if not the primary source of lithic material in the Northern Plains. Knife River flint was a major trade item from the Paleoindian through the protohistoric. Over the past several years, archaeologists from Metcalf Archaeological Consultants, Inc. have conducted projects within the Knife River flint primary source area located in north-central North Dakota. Many of these projects either directly or indirectly have been in support of oil...

  • Sourcing Quartzite Projectile Points from 39FA65, The Ray Long Site, Fall River County, South Dakota (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Renee Boen. Jessica Bush. Heidi Sieverding.

    The purpose of this research was to determine if the tool stone used for two quartzite Angostura projectile points from the Ray Long site (39FA65), Fall River County, South Dakota, could be linked to a specific quarry or geologic formation. The Ray Long site is the type-site for the Paleoindian period Angostura complex which has a regional distribution of Utah, Colorado, southeastern Idaho, Wyoming, southwestern South Dakota, and western Nebraska. The seven quarries selected for the study are...

  • A Tale of Two Houses: Soil Chemical and Floor Assemblage Evidence of Domestic Activities at the Menoken Site, North Dakota (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kacy Hollenback. Christopher Roos. Fern Swenson. Andrew Quicksall. Mary Hagen.

    Although they are often used by archaeologists to identify activity patterns within domestic spaces, floor assemblages are influenced by a variety of cultural and natural formation processes, especially those related to abandonment. By contrast, soil chemical traces are thought to be less vulnerable to alteration by subsequent activity and, therefore, are treated as primary residue of activities in their original location. Although the formation histories of these two types of evidence differ,...

  • Technological Variability in Woodland and Plains Village Period Ceramics from Central and Eastern North Dakota (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Whitney Goodwin. Kacy L. Hollenback. Fern Swenson. Matthew T. Boulanger. Michael D. Glascock.

    This paper explores technological variability in Woodland and Plains Village period ceramics from central and eastern North Dakota. Research objectives include 1) assessing compositional variability within Woodland period assemblages, 2) establishing whether or not ceramics could have been produced from local "clays," 3) exploring continuity in pastes from Woodland period to later Plains Village pottery, and 4) comparing Devils Lake "clays" to materials from the Missouri River drainage. This...

  • Where Rivers Flow: Mandan and Hidatsa Subsistence Economies from an Archaeomalacological Perspective (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Paul Picha. Carl Falk.

    Three classes of molluscan data generated from Mandan and Hidatsa villages along Heart and Knife river drainages in North Dakota are reviewed: freshwater bivalve, marine, and fossil gastropod shell. An outline of Mandan and Hidatsa ethnomalacology obtained from native collaborators is found in the writings of anthropologists Gilbert L. Wilson and Alfred W. Bowers and corresponds with the aforementioned molluscan classes. Mandan and Hidatsa subsistence economies are diverse during the longue...