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May Proclaimed Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed May as Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month in South Dakota.

“South Dakota’s cultural heritage is rich and diverse as represented by thousands of archaeological and historical sites, historic buildings, and landscapes that have been discovered and recorded throughout our state,” Gov. Daugaard said in the proclamation. “Public appreciation and understanding is the foundation of preserving South Dakota’s past for future generations.”

This year’s theme, “Prairie to Pines: Celebrating South Dakota’s Cultural Landscapes,” examines the ways our past interactions with our surroundings have shaped our present. Communities are encouraged to emphasize in their celebrations historic landscapes or buildings with cultural or environmental histories like churches, mines, farmsteads or ranches, dams, grain elevators, etc.

“This annual celebration serves as a showcase for local communities to honor their past and help build their future,” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society, headquartered at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. “It brings historic preservation to the forefront of our daily lives by emphasizing the vital importance of protecting our nation’s history and pre-history. Public awareness is heightened regarding the destruction of historical sites due to neglect and demolition of archaeological sites due to looters, vandals and forces of nature.”

The State Historical Society’s Historic Preservation Office has encouraged local communities to plan activities for Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month in celebration of their historic places.

Once again, as an Archaeology & Historic Preservation Month activity, the State Historic Preservation Office will be hosting a three-day hands-on Archaeology Camp for students going into grades 4 through 6. This event will be held June 9-11 in Pierre.

Activities across South Dakota are listed on the State Historical Society’s online calendar of events at history.sd.gov. This calendar highlights educational programs in the areas of archaeology, preservation and history from across the state and beyond throughout the year. If you would like to submit an event to be posted on the calendar, a form is available on the website calendar page.

For more information on this annual celebration or other historic preservation programs, contact the State Historic Preservation Office at the Cultural Heritage Center, 900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501-2217; telephone (605) 773-3458, e-mail shpo@state.sd.us or website history.sd.gov/preservation.