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Examining Mandan and Arikara Agricultural Production at Fort Clark in the Fur Trade Era

Author(s): Adam S. Wiewel

Year: 2017

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The Mandan/Arikara earthlodge village adjacent to the American Fur Company’s Fort Clark in North Dakota is well-documented, appearing in the accounts and depictions of Catlin, Maximilian, and Bodmer, among others. The village was originally constructed in 1822 by the Mandans, who occupied the settlement until the widespread 1837 smallpox epidemic, after which the Arikaras appropriated the village. Historical documents suggest the Mandans and Arikaras traded crucial resources, namely maize, to neighboring Native groups and fur traders on the Missouri River during their combined four decades of settlement near Fort Clark, although precise amounts are unclear. In this paper, I utilize historical information and remote sensing data to delve further into this question of trade with the aim of yielding a better understanding of agricultural production potentials among both groups, which appear to have been considerable despite the challenges brought on by the arrival of fur traders in the region.

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Examining Mandan and Arikara Agricultural Production at Fort Clark in the Fur Trade Era. Adam S. Wiewel. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435524)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 664

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