CLAY COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — A recent archeological dig is giving one group a better idea of life in the Dakota Territory.

Tony Krus is an assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of South Dakota.

He says the town of Bloomingdale in Clay County existed from the late 1860s through the turn of the century.

The community was centered around a flour mill.

“With changing technology from hydropower to steam-powered and just changing times, the emergence of the railroad system in the area, our current hypothesis is that just led to the town not being as prosperous or not as nice of a place to live as it had been in the 1870s,” USD assistant professor of anthropology Tony Krus said.

Krus, along with retired archaeologist Bill Ranney, recently led 12 USD students through an excavation at the site during the Susan Tuve Archaeological Field School.

Student Cash Hemmingson and his field school partner uncovered what appears to be a wall or part of a foundation.

“To an archeologist and especially an archeology student I was super excited,” USD student Cash Hemmingson said.

The formations give more clues about the lay of the town that once was.

“It’s really interesting just to think about that there were people who maybe could’ve just been sitting here where I was right now,” USD student Elise Shield said.

More work needs to be done to know the town’s population.

“There were people who lived their lives here and passed on. It’s important that we know the whole range of experiences it took to create the state of South Dakota,” Retired archaeologist Bill Ranney said.

That’s why that passion for uncovering answers about the past is still alive today.

Krus and his students also went to the Sturgis area this year to set up for future excavations.