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Record Number Of Students At Mitchell Dig Site

July 7, 2014, 5:00 PM by Matt Holsen

Record Number Of Students At Mitchell Dig Site

Interest is growing in the only archeological site in South Dakota open to the public. A record number of students from England are at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village this summer.

Exeter students from England have been digging here at the Indian Village for 11 years now, but every summer something new gets everyone excited.

"In the upper layers we've had this feature, which looks like they were cooking a whole pile of mussels but it looks like they were cooking a whole pile of mussels with beaver as well so, I don't know, we've got a mussel and beaver chowder being prepared, I'm not sure," Outram said.

The feature was discovered not only with 17 British students on hand but also with the help of Augustana students, including Kate Carlson.

"I really didn't honestly expect to find anything right away. It was the first couple days that we finally found it. So it was really exciting," Carlson said.

The two schools' partnership is growing. Carlson will be studying at Exeter next year and according to Alan Outram from Exeter, his students will continue coming to Mitchell.

"It's always been one of the favorite field schools for our students to have the experience to come out to America, which is very unusual in Britain. Also, the program in Anthropology is growing at Augustana too. So they're beginning to send more students along and our collaboration is becoming stronger and stronger," Outram said.

The Archeodome in Mitchell offers a unique location for archeology. The ability to dig in a controlled environment and then share findings on social media has been a big draw.

"We're able to combine lab work with excavation work in the same building and also interaction with the public, which is an important of archeology because finding out about our heritage, the only purpose for that is to convey that to the general public," Outram said.


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