Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village – Mitchell
A tour at the Thomson Center Archeodome will unveil artifacts that
are more than 1,000 years old. Previous excavations at the Mitchell
Prehistoric Indian Village site have uncovered clues of village life
including the food the villagers ate and the tools they used. The
Boehnen Museum and Patton Gallery displays a model of what the
village may have looked like and also a life-size reconstructed lodge.
Greenhorn’s Guide to
A team of 22 British student fieldworkers and two professors return for
f you have the itch to dig, join a fourth year this summer, July 5 – Aug. 5, to excavate and map the site
a real-life excavation to explore a as well as clean artifacts. Visitors to the site have an opportunity to
prehistoric world that tells the story view a live excavation, learn the techniques of archeological recovery
of the first humans who walked on and preservation, and gain an understanding of this prehistoric
this land. The largest Tyrannosaurus farming/hunting culture.
rex ever discovered, Sue, was found
in 1990 in northwest South Dakota. Admission is charged. Call (605) 996-5473, e-mail
Coming in May of 2008, visitors email@example.com or visit www.MitchellIndianVillage.org.
will have the chance to see Sue on
display in South Dakota as part of the
Traveling “Sue” Exhibit. Burghduff Bison Kill – Northwest South Dakota
After the discovery of three Alberta points in the northwestern corner
of the state, a 9,000-year-old bison kill site was uncovered. Two small
units have been placed at the site since it was first uncovered. So far,
the site has yielded numerous bison bones and appears to have been
a bison kill event. Additional excavations will determine if this was
a communal event from populations across the northern and western
plains or a small band of local inhabitants.
Volunteers are invited to take part in this excavation. Call
(605) 394-1936 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for dig dates.
Big Pig Dig – Badlands National Park Mammoth Kill Site – Brookings
In June of 1993, two visitors at Badlands National Park discovered Three fishermen canoeing along the banks of
a fossil bed more than 32 million years old. The site is thought the Big Sioux River spotted in the side of a cliff
to represent a prehistoric watering hole where thirsty animals what they thought looked like animal remains in
became stuck. Paleontologists have uncovered 12 types of animals, the side of a cliff. Later investigation revealed
including a cow-sized rhinoceros, a pig-like animal, a small, three- evidence of an 11,000-year-old mammoth kill site.
toed horse, a type of tortoise and a rabbit ancestor. Archaeologists uncovered the skull, jawbone, ribs
and other bones of a mammoth and some bison
Site excavation continues this summer along with stone tools.
through mid-August. The public is
invited to observe paleontologists in The public is encouraged to visit the site and learn
action. Visitors can also view fossils how a paleontological dig is conducted. Visitors
of the ancient creatures on the Fossil can study fossils and talk to paleontologists. Call
Exhibit Trail. Open daily 9 a.m.- 4:30 (605) 394-1936 or e-mail email@example.com
p.m. Park entrance fee required. Call for dig dates.
Rachel Benton, Badlands National
Park, at (605) 433-5261 or e-mail
na l Park firstname.lastname@example.org for dig
Badl ands dates.
Marine Fossil Dig – Chamberlain
Paleontologists are working to discover how the sea that
once covered mid-America changed at the end of the
Traveling through geological time at
Excavations continue the first two weeks in August The Journey Museum
near Chamberlain at a marine fossil site. Volunteers are
welcome to help scientists dig for giant reptiles, such
as 36-foot-long mosasaurs and plesiosaurs that swam The Mammoth Site – Hot Springs
the oceans, as well as fish, flying reptiles, birds, turtles,
sharks, ammonites and other invertebrates. The dig can The simple act of getting a drink of water led to the deaths of hundreds of
be taken for college credit. mammoths and other animals 26,000 years ago. After entering the spring-
fed sinkhole to drink and bathe, the mammoths were unable to climb back
Fee charged. Call (605) 394-2467, e-mail up the slippery banks and became trapped, ultimately starving to death.
James.Martin@sdsmt.edu or visit www.sdsmt.edu. Since 1974, 53 Columbian mammoths and three woolly mammoths have
been unearthed, making this the first site both species have been found
together. Other fossils discovered include camel, llama, giant short-faced
bear, wolf, coyote and prairie dog.
Visitors may tour the working dig and Ice Age exhibit year-round. The
Earthwatch Institute sponsors an excavation at the site each year. Contact
Earthwatch at 1-800-776-0188 for more information. The Mammoth Site
also offers a Junior Paleontologist Program seven days a week through Aug.
A recovered 15. This simulated dig allows participants to excavate replicas of actual
mammoth at the bones found at the site. Merit badges in geology for Boy and Girl Scouts are
Mammoth Site offered.
Admission is charged. Call The Mammoth Site at (605) 745-6017 or visit
South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center – Pierre
Take a step back in time at the Cultural Heritage Center. Learn the history
behind the people who made South Dakota the diverse state it is today.
Listen to recordings of Native Americans speaking Dakota, Lakota and
The Black Hills Museum of Natural
History – Hill City
Nakota. Touch the different types of fur traded by trappers in the state’s
early days. A train car serves as a theater for a video about the railroad,
The Black Hills Museum of Natural History
and visitors learn about the Missouri River while standing at the helm of
in Hill City is home to the original
a steamboat. Hand-milk a model cow and learn about life in the 1900s in
65-million-year-old Stan, one of the two
most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossils ever
found. Paleontologists from the museum have
The Cultural Heritage Center
participated in the excavation and restoration
also houses the state archives,
of eight T-rex skeletons since 1990.
which has a public research
room. Admission is charged.
See Stan, along with an immense collection
Call (605) 773-3458 or visit
of invertebrate, mammal and fish fossils. The
museum also boasts a massive assortment of
minerals and agates, and a vast meteorite
American Indian Prayer Rock at the Cultural Heritage Center collection.
Admission is free. Call (605) 574-4505 or visit
The Journey Museum Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science – Sioux Falls
Rapid City Unearth your own dinosaur bone at the Kirby Science Center in the Washington
Take an incredible trek through time Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls. The center is home to more than 80
at The Journey Museum in Rapid City. hands-on science exhibits and a full-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex found in
Visitors can begin their “journey” 2.5 western South Dakota.
billion years ago in the abyss – a period of
unrecorded time – and then continue on Visitors may touch a real dinosaur bone and a fossilized dinosaur egg. Children and
to trace South Dakota’s history through adults may conduct their own excavation to discover dinosaur bone replicas. For
exhibits on rock formations, dinosaurs, youngsters, the center offers a giant bone puzzle of the state fossil, the Triceratops.
Native American cultures, pioneers and
modern history. Interactive exhibits Admission is charged. Call 1-877-WASHPAV or visit www.WashingtonPavilion.org.
allow for a unique first-hand learning
Admission is charged. Call
(605) 394-6923 or visit
www.JourneyMuseum.org. Museum of Geology – Rapid City
A new collection of baby plesiosauruses from Antarctica is now on display.
With a collection of 350,000 vertebrate fossils and 6,000 minerals, the
Museum of Geology always has interesting pre-historic stories to tell.
Visitors may view fossils of ancient residents of South Dakota, such as saber-
tooth cats, small camels, giant pigs and a mother oreodont. The museum is
located on the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology campus in
Admission is free. Call (605) 394-2467 or 1-800-544-8162, ext. 2467 or
Marine fossils at the
Museum of Geology
SOUTH DAKOTA’S BLACK HILLS
enlarged to show detail
• Aberdeen Sisseton
• • Buffalo •
Lead II •
Rapid • XI Redfield
City • •
Black Hills IX
National Forest • Belle Fourche
VIII Huron Brookings
• Murdo V Madison
Badlands III •
National Park Kadoka I
Hot Springs •
Archaeological Research Center
The Mammoth Site
Museum of Geology