Appraisal of the Archeological Resources of the Big Bend Reservoir South Dakota

Author(s): Harold A. Huscher; Charles H. McNutt

Year: 1958


This report summarizes the results of an intensive archeological reconnaissance of the proposed Big Bend Reservoir of central South Dakota. The survey was carried out as a part of the continuing program of the Missouri Basin project, Smithsonian Institution, which is directed toward the recovery of aboriginal and historical remains threatened by hydroelectric, flood control, and reclamation development of the Missouri River system. The Big Bend Reservoir will be one of several artificial lakes formed on the mainstem of the Missouri. As originally envisaged by the Pick-Sloan plan, the reservoirs will form a nearly continuous chain from the Nebraska-South Dakota border to the North Dakota-Montana border. As the waters impounded behind this dam system rise, the extensive flood plains and terrace developments of the present river valley will disappear. It is now apparent to anthropologists that the most intensive aboriginal occupation of the Northern Plains occurred within this narrow strip of land. Although the inhabitants varied in tribal

affiliation, language. and in details of custom, they developed a way of life that was one of the most distinctive in North America. It should be emphasized, therefore, that the reservoir system now being created will destroy not only a great number of aboriginal sites but also the total record of a distinctive cultural pattern.

A detailed appraisal of archeological resources is prerequisite to any program of intensive regional research. The specific aims of the survey are summarized as follows:

1. To relocate and appraise all sites listed previously.

2. To locate historic sites described in the early literature.

3. To explore both banks of the river for additional historic

and aboriginal sites in the reservoir area.

4. To collect surface samples of artifacts from each Site, if


5. To carry out limited test excavations at selected sites.

6. To produce a map and photographic record of all sites


The field investigations that provide the basis for this assessment extended from June 2 through September 15, 1956. and from July 1 through September 2, 1957.

Cite this Record

Appraisal of the Archeological Resources of the Big Bend Reservoir South Dakota. Harold A. Huscher, Charles H. McNutt. 1958 ( tDAR id: 25240) ; doi:10.6067/XCV86975Q8

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Site Name
39BF10 39BF202 39BF203 39BF205 39BF206 39BF207 39BF208 39BF210 39BF211 39BF212 39BF214 39BF215 39BF216 39BF217 39BF218 39BF219 39BF220 39BF222 39BF225 39BF226 39BF227 39BF228 39BF229 39BF230 39BF231 Show More

Site Type

Investigation Types
Reconnaissance / Survey Records Search / Inventory Checking Research Design / Data Recovery Plan Site Evaluation / Testing

Spatial Coverage

min long: -101.167; min lat: 43.5 ; max long: -98.926; max lat: 44.898 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Anne Vawser

Sponsor(s): Missouri river basin, Region 2, National Parks Service, Omaha, Nebraska

Prepared By(s): Smithsonian Institution; Missouri Basin Project

Record Identifiers

NADB document id number(s): 922791

NADB citation id number(s): 000000121161


General Note: Sent from: Missouri Basin Proj., SI, Lincoln, NE

General Note: Submitted to: Missouri Riv. Basin Recre. Survey, Region 2, NPS, Omaha, NE

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Contact(s): Anne Vawser