Category Archives: Prehistoric Indian Village

“Dinosaur 13”: The Story of Sue is Coming to Mitchell!

In 1990,  American paleontologist Pete Larson and his team, while excavating in the South Dakota Badlands, uncovered the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found. They named their discovery “Sue”. “Sue” was seized from Larson by the federal government and a ten-year legal battle ensued.  Larson eventually spent 18 months in prison.

Producer Todd Douglas Miller has created a critically acclaimed documentary of the discovery and legal battles, Dinosaur 13, which will be shown from July 29th to September 4th, 2014 at the Logan Luxury Theaters in downtown Mitchell, South Dakota. The reviews from the critics call the movie “engrossing’, “awe-inspiring” and “engaging”.

The Prehistoric Indian Village is encouraging all of members and supporters to see this movie. And, if you show your Old Bones Club membership card, Logan Luxury Theaters will give you one free small popcorn!

For more information on the movie, please visit its website at

For more information about the Prehistoric Indian Village, contact:

Cindy Gregg, Executive Director
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village
3200 Indian Village Road
Mitchell, South Dakota 57301

Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village awarded 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

Recognized as a Top Performing Museum/Attraction as Reviewed by Travelers on the World’s Largest Travel Site

The Prehistoric Indian Village in Mitchell, South Dakota has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide.  Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings.  Businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recency of reviews. Additional criteria include a business’ tenure and popularity ranking on the site.

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Cindy Gregg, executive director. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognized by one’s customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our museum and our continued commitment to excellence.”

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence,” said Marc Charron, President of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers. From Australia to Zimbabwe, we want to applaud exceptional hospitality businesses for offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience.”

For more information about the Prehistoric Indian Village, contact:

Cindy Gregg, Executive Director
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village
3200 Indian Village Road
Mitchell, South Dakota 57301

Temporary Exhibit comes to Prehistoric Indian Village

Living Traditions: Dakota, Nakota, Lakota Art

The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village will have a temporary exhibit  from the South Dakota Historical Society beginning on Thursday, June 12th, 2014 on the art of the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota peoples. The exhibit will remain at the Prehistoric Indian Village until August 12.

The Dakota, Nakota and Lakota of South Dakota have a long history of creating beautiful works of art. Many items created were quite functional and were used as everyday objects. Beading, quillwork, painting and carving were all important facets of the art. Living Traditions: Dakota, Nakota Lakota Art showcases works done during three time periods: nomadic hunting period, reservation and modern times.

The exhibit not only focuses on the art, but also on the way the art was created. Natural materials, such as porcupine quill, plant dyes, bone and other objects, were utilized to create the paintings, sculptures, sewn items and other art forms for which these people have become known.

Visitors to the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village can view this fascinating exhibit in the comfort of the Thomsen Center Archeodome from June 12, 2014 to August 12, 2014. Visitor hours are Monday to Saturday, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sundays, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Regular admission fees apply.

For more information, please contact Cindy Gregg at 605.996.5473 or at

Archeology Field School Date Set

The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village will host students from the University of Exeter, England and Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota from June 19th to mid-July for its 11th Annual Summer Archeology Field School. First year archaeology and anthropology students will continue the excavations in the Thomsen Center Archeodome at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village. Visitors are able to watch as the archaeology team excavates the site, works in the laboratory or on the grounds.  This is a great time to be at the Village, with a lot of activity and excitement.

Dr. Alan Outram of the University of Exeter will lead the team along with Dr. L. Adrien Hannus, Augustana College and chief archaeologist for the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village. They will be assisted by Dr. Landon Karr, Augustana College.

In addition, Archeology Awareness Days will be held on July 5-6, 2014.  This event will bring together primitive technologists and archeologists from around the country.

The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village is a 1,100 year-old village of farmer/hunters of the Initial Middle Missouri Tradition. The site sits on a bluff that once overlooked a creek north of Mitchell, South Dakota (the creek was dammed in 1928 to create Lake Mitchell). There are the remains of  approximately 70 to 80 lodges buried on the site.  The major crops grown at the site were corn, beans, squash, sunflower, tobacco and amaranth; in recent years, it has been established that the village was also a major bison processing center. The U. S. Department of the Interior calls the Village “one of the most important archaeological sites in the Great Plains”.

The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday – Saturday and 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Sundays until Memorial Day. After Memorial Day, the hours are from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday – Saturday and 10 to 5 on Sundays until Labor Day. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children.

For more information, please contact Cindy Gregg at 605.996.5473 or at

Prehistoric Indian Village (or, the tale of the wrong pair of shoes)

Have you ever seen a movie where a comically overdressed individual is stumbling around, clearly out of their element? Friends, that was me. The first thing you should know about visiting the Prehistoric Indian Village is that thin, high heels are not the best footwear for exploring the museum and dig site; I would have been much better off in more sensible shoes. Live and learn?

Speaking of learning…

When I toured the Prehistoric Indian Village, I did not expect to see a seashell from Florida. Bison skins, yes; bone fragments, yes. But a seashell? From Florida? That caught me off guard. How, exactly, did that end up at an archeological dig site in Mitchell, South Dakota?

As it turns out the site currently being excavated was home to the Arikara Indians, a population that traded extensively. The seashell was accepted in exchange for something the village had – and isn’t the only artifact from afar. To know more about that, though, you’ll need to take the tour!

I was astonished at the detail researchers have been able to – quite literally – uncover about these ancient villagers. From artistic influences to food storage, the Prehistoric Indian Village team has an extensive and expanding understanding of those who lived there a thousand years ago.

The Archeodome will host archeology students this summer in June and July, who will come and dig for a time before returning to school. The Prehistoric Indian Village also hosts several events throughout the summer. I will certainly be returning to explore the museum and Archeodome, and encourage you to do the same – but please, wear comfortable shoes.

Visit the Prehistoric Indian Village to find out…

What did the Arikara Indians do that modern science has yet to improve upon?

Bison bone marrow was used to make a primitive “trail mix” called Pemmican; how long was its shelf life?

Mitchell isn’t just the home of the World’s Only Corn Palace – it’s my home, too. So come on over! Stop in for an afternoon, a weekend, a while.


Jacki Miskimins is the Director of the Mitchell Convention & Visitors Bureau. She is documenting her experiences rediscovering her hometown. Do you have an idea for a post? Let her know!