Monday, April 24, 2017
MITCHELL PREHISTORIC INDIAN VILLAGE, MITCHELL, SD
I love this place, we visited in 2006 and I was insistent we go back. It really didn’t take much persuasion on my part, Gary enjoys it too.
Archeology digs fascinate me and this location has an ongoing one, you can walk around and view as they dig and in certain instances even take part in.
The museums, yes there are two locations on site, are very nice as well. We learn something new each time we visit.
In 2006 we were thrilled to see they had a “spear thrower” that you could try your hand at. I know for many of you this makes no sense, but if you are a fan of the Earth’s Children book Series, IE: Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean Auel then you know exactly what I am talking about.
In 2006 Gary found the weapon easy to use and looked forward to trying it again. However, they had no practice ones available in 2016. They did, however, have one on display.
As I said there are two museums on site. One, the Thompsen Center Archeodome, is at the dig site and deals mainly with the dig and archelogy. You can view various artifacts from this area and others. An employee will explain various aspects of the dig and how it works.
While I enjoy the dig site, I also love the first museum you see as you enter the area from the parking area. It is the Boehnen Museum and Visitor Center. This museum gives you a look into the daily lives of the Native Americans who lived in the area around 900 AD.
Once again the displays make the Auel Books come to life with the life size displays of the dwellings, artifacts like the spear thrower and a bison skeleton.
In 2006 they had a bowl boat on display, but it was not available for viewing on this trip. There were, however, photos of it on the pleasant walkway from the upper parking lot to the museum.
Like any tourist attraction they have a gift shop on location. This one seemed to be a little less expensive than some we have encountered, or at least that was what I told myself as I purchased my brag rag, errr t-shirt.
We have been there twice now and would quite cheerfully go a third time because we learn something new every time. This trip it was that the hump on a bison’s back is not, as I had thought, water storage as on a camel, but is actually part of the backbone or upward facing ribs of sorts.
If our ancient past intrigues you as it does me I highly recommend you taking the time out in your travels to visit this location.