Remote Sensing Investigations of the Arzberger Site (39HU6)

Author(s): Adam Wiewel; Rebecca Wiewel

Year: 2018


Arzberger is a fifteenth- or sixteenth-century fortified Plains Village site located near present-day Pierre, South Dakota. Although it is an important example of an Initial Coalescent settlement in the Middle Missouri subarea of the Plains, its most intensive study occurred in 1939 when the village was accurately mapped and test excavations were made of four lodges and the fortification. This early work identified a surprisingly low number of houses for such a large settlement. In recent decades, quarrying activities have destroyed substantial portions of the settlement, despite its 1964 designation as a National Historic Landmark. To better understand the site’s content and assess its current condition, archeologists from the Midwest Archeological Center (National Park Service) recently deployed a six channel SENSYS MAGNETO MX V3 gradiometer system. Besides the magnetic data, the unit’s integrated GPS yields accurate topographic information. When combined with historical aerial photographs, these datasets provide a clear view of the remaining portion of the village’s fortification, its many lodges, and probable storage pits. We will discuss these significant findings as well as review several benefits and difficulties of surveying with the SENSYS gradiometer system.

Cite this Record

Remote Sensing Investigations of the Arzberger Site (39HU6). Adam Wiewel, Rebecca Wiewel. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442683)

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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21683