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American Forts and Dakota Burial Mounds: Landscapes of Mourning and Dominion at the Boundaries of Colonialist Expansion

Author(s): Sigrid Arnott ; David Maki

Year: 2015

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Summary

For hundreds of years, the Dakota landscaped natural liminal zones (high promontories above water) with burial earthworks. These sacred landscapes signaled boundaries between spiritual realms, the living and the dead, and local village domains. During the 19th century, the U.S. Government took ownership of the Dakota homelands in Minnesota and the Dakota Territory leading to violent conflict and decades of war. At the boundary of this conflict forts were built to "sweep the region now occupied by hostiles" and protect new Euro-American settlers. Fort Sisseton, constructed in South Dakota, during the 1864 Dakota Campaign, and Fort Juelson built in 1876 by Minnesota immigrants during an Indian Panic were both knowingly constructed on top of Dakota burial mounds, appropriating sacred cemetery landscapes to demonstrate the military and cultural dominion of the colonizers. Geophysical survey and historical research explore the archaeological expression and significance of these interlocked landscapes.


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Cite this Record

American Forts and Dakota Burial Mounds: Landscapes of Mourning and Dominion at the Boundaries of Colonialist Expansion. Sigrid Arnott, David Maki. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433859)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
1850-1880


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 230

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America