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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Bismarck in Burleigh County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Missouri River Resources

Double Ditch State Historic Site

 
 
Missouri River Resources Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, November 2, 2019
1. Missouri River Resources Marker
Inscription.   Missouri River
The Missouri River valley provided water, food, and shelter for the Mandans. Abundant timber and game could be found in the wooded bottomlands, and bison flourished on the surrounding prairie grasslands. The terrace edge setting of the villages offered access to garden land and abundant timber as well as extensive use up and down the valley. The Missouri River has long served as a major travel route.

Farming or Horticulture
The Mandans are one of the best known agricultural tribes of the Missouri Valley. Farming produced a large surplus of food which could be stored for use during leaner times and traded to nomadic non-farming groups. Principal crops include corn, beans, and squash. Sunflowers and tobacco also were grown. Horticulture combined with bison hunting resulted in a diversified and flexible economy.

Hunting and Fishing
In the archaeological record the dominant role of bison, hunted for their hides and meat, is evident. Other animals are also hunted and trapped, including pronghorns, deer, wolves, rabbits, beavers, muskrats, porcupines, foxes, minks, badgers,

Missouri River image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, November 2, 2019
2. Missouri River
and bobcats. A diverse variety of birds (waterfowl, hawks and eagles, grouse, cranes, owls, woodpeckers, crows, ravens, and small songbirds) and fishes (sturgeons, gars, mooneyes, pikes, suckers, catfishes, and cods) are representative in the archaeological record. These animals all contributed to the subsistence of the villagers. Each supplied an important source of bone for tools and ornaments, as well as being trapped for the hides, furs, and plumage.

Photo captions
Bottom left: Owl Woman slicing squash
Upper right: Gardening with bone hoe in the floodplain
Lower right: Entering a catfish trap with willow fishing basket

 
Erected by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureHorticulture & ForestryNative Americans.
 
Location. 46° 56.048′ N, 100° 53.924′ W. Marker is near Bismarck, North Dakota, in Burleigh County. Marker can be reached from North Dakota Route 1804. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bismarck ND 58503, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Geophysical Prospecting in Archaeology (within shouting distance of this marker); Ditch 2 (within shouting distance of this marker); Final Occupation of Double Ditch

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(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Double Ditch State Historic Site (about 400 feet away); Archaeological Excavations in 1905 (about 400 feet away); Ditch 3 (about 500 feet away); Midden Mounds (Trash Heaps) (about 600 feet away); Homes (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bismarck.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 1, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 1, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
 
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Mar. 6, 2021