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British Students Hope To Dig Up History In Mitchell

July 13, 2012, 6:25 PM by Lindsey Branwall

British Students Hope To Dig Up History In Mitchell

People from all over travel to Mitchell to visit the pre-historic Indian village, but some students from across the globe are in town hoping to dig up some history for themselves.

You can hear the tools of future archaeologists under Mitchell's Archeodome unearth South Dakota's history.

Native Americans were at the site thousands of years ago but only stayed for 150 years. This month, a special group of students will be digging up when they left behind.

“We come for a month every year, we often bring in the teens of students,” Associate Professor of Archaeological Science Alan Outram said. 

The University of Exeter out of Great Britain teams up with Augustana College for their archaeology program, giving British students a unique experience.

“American archaeology is very different [than] English,” Archaeology Student Lizzi Dwyer said.

To get some hands on experience, Dwyer chose South Dakota soils. She and the other students learned about the state's ancient culture earlier this month.

“It became relevant because you understood why they've got these things here and why they've got these tools and things like that,” Dwyer said.

Mitchell's site is also unique from an archaeology standpoint.

“Every day we find hundreds or even thousands or artifacts that tell us about what was happening here in the past. Certainly at many other sites you could dig all day and not find very many things, but we don't have that problem here,” Assistant Professor of Archaeology Landon Karr said.

And Dwyer seconds that.

“You do constantly find things. Lots of bison bones, pottery. We actually found in my area half a pot, so that was really interesting,” Dwyer said.

For her and other Exeter students, an abundance of history also means a wealth of education.

July 14 and 15 will be Archaeology Awareness Days at the site. For more information visit the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village's website.

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