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Menoken Indian Village State Historic Site

Menoken Indian Village State Historic Site


Open year round.
Free admission, donations welcome.
lat: 46.8410744 long: -100.5185354

This major archaeological site was mistakenly believed to be only a few 100 years old. Little did researchers know that this village site was much MUCH older, dating back to 1200 AD when it was built by the Late Plains Woodland peoples. Recognized to likely be the extinct ancestors of the modern-day Mandan, Hidatsa, or Arikara tribes, the Late Plains Woodland people in this community may have reached a population of around 200. Visitors to this site can reconstruct history through viewing the settlements layout and through the availability of interpretive signs.

Through archaeological research it is now understood that:

  • The Late Plains Woodland people had chosen their settlement purposely based off the landscapes natural defense of steep banks which would have made it difficult for potential intruders to climb.
  • Evidence of a timber post wall inside a deep ditch provided the community with a fortification system. Further protecting them from invaders.
  • Artifacts made of rare materials like raw copper, obsidian, knife river flint suggest the Late Plains Woodland people were involved in extensive trade in order to acquire these resources from far away.

With so much history and potential for cultural understandings into North Dakota’s past, this site just a hop skip and jump away from Menoken and Bismarck, is a learning opportunity you do not want to miss!

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