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State Historical Society Archaeology Camp registration opens May 2

The South Dakota State Historical Society’s Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is sponsoring a three-day Archaeology Camp for students going into grades 4-6 for the 2016-2017 school year.

Camp dates are June 7-9, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. CDT. The program is structured for students to attend all three days. Registration is limited to the first 20 applicants, first-come, first-served.

Archaeology Camp is an active, outdoor experience located on an archaeological site near the Oahe Downstream Recreation Area north of Fort Pierre. Students should be prepared to hike and to work in the dirt alongside professional archaeologists.

Students will learn an introduction to the field of archaeology, why archaeological excavations are held, what stories artifacts can tell about the past, the history of fur trading posts, how to map a site and how to use team-building skills.

In addition to excavations at the site, other fun activities will include processing artifacts, practicing with atlatls (ancient weapons that preceded the bow and arrow), watching a presentation on flintlock guns, and tours of the Archives and Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center. There will also be a tour of the Oahe Dam and trips to the Turtle Effigy and the Oahe Chapel.

The registration fee is $30, and registration begins on May 2 at 10 a.m. It will close on May 13 or when the camp is full, whichever comes first. No walk-in campers will be accepted on camp days. Registration information will be available on the SHPO website at Click on the link at the top of that page.

For more information on the Archaeology Camp, please contact Paige Olson with the SHPO at (605) 773-6004 or email her at

For more information on 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, email or website

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