Molstad Village

Address Restricted, Mobridge, South Dakota. County/parish: Dewey.

NRIS 66000713

1 contributing site.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places October 15, 1966.

Also known as:

  • 39DW234

From Wikipedia:

Molstad Village

Molstad Village, designated by the Smithsonian trinomial 39DW234, is an archaeological site in Dewey County, South Dakota, United States, near the city of Mobridge. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964. The site contains the remains of a small fortified Native America village, consisting of earth lodges surrounded by a bastioned palisade, with further lodges scattered in the area outside the fortification. Evidence gathered at the site indicates it was occupied for a relatively brief period in the mid-1500s CE, and was assigned to the Chouteau aspect of Middle Missouri taxonomy, later known as the Extended Coalescent phase. Four lodge sites were excavated in the early 1960s, uncovering post holes and cache pits, one of which contained skull-less human remains. Finds at the site included pottery fragments and stone tools. Bone tools were also found, including plows made from bison shoulder blades.

Molstad Village was named after Irene and Oscar Molstad, on whose ranch the village was found. The land belonged to Irene Molstad, a member of the federally recognized Cheyenne River Sioux Nation. She and her husband Oscar operated a cattle ranch, and allowed Smithsonian Institution researches to camp on their land while investing archaeological sites in the area in advance of the creation of Lake Oahe. The Molstad village site was excavated by this team in 1962 under the direction of J. Jake Hoffman. Finds at the site were important in enabling Hoffman to use pottery styles to establish a chronology of regional sites.

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Architectural styles:

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National Park Service documentation: