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Huff in Morton County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Village Fortifications and Human Conflict

Huff Indian Village State Historic Site

 
 
Village Fortifications and Human Conflict Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, September 27, 2019
1. Village Fortifications and Human Conflict Marker
Inscription.  In front of you is part of the fortification system that once surrounded this village. The fortification system at Huff Village is a classic example of civil defense and community preparation for conflict. Inter-village conflict may have been heightened by drought, climatic change, and related population movement. Three sides of Huff Indian Village were protected by a ditch and a palisade wall of closely-spaced wooden posts. Ten bastions or outwardly projected loops existed along the wall lines strategically placed at the village corners and at intervals of 180 to 240 feet along the palisade line. A ditch was constructed around three sides of the village, just outside the palisade line.

Today the ditch is about 15 feet wide and about 2 feet deep. When this village was occupied, the ditch was about 5 feet deep. Dirt removed from the ditch was thrown inside, and the posts of the palisade wall were set in this dirt.

Construction of the fortification system involved a huge amount of labor as well as heavy use of local timber resources. Excavation of several sections of the palisade wall shows that the posts were about eight inches

The barely-visible ditch today. image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, September 27, 2019
2. The barely-visible ditch today.
in diameter and centered about one foot apart. About 2500 posts were used in the palisade wall. The supply of posts probably came from the trees that thrived along the banks of the Missouri River Somewhere near the village.

Magnetic readings were taken along a section of the village fortification. This map of the magnetic readings shows numerous circular and oval shapes three to six feet in diameter. They occur just inside the village's palisade wall. They are probably deep pits that were used for storage of corn and other garden crops.

Photo captions:
Upper left: Huff Village aerial photo
Lower left: Excavation of the palisade wall in 1960 showing post holes
Lower middle: Cross section of the fortification ditch
Upper right: Huff Village 3-D image showing the planned fortification along the village perimeter
Lower right: Magnetic survey overlaid on aerial photo of Huff Village

 
Erected by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyNative Americans.
 
Location. 46° 37.102′ N, 100° 38.633′ W. Marker is in Huff, North Dakota, in Morton County. Marker can

Missouri River at Huff Site. image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, September 27, 2019
3. Missouri River at Huff Site.
be reached from North Dakota Route 1806. Located in Huff Indian Village State Historic Site along Roughrider Trail. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mandan ND 58554, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Huff Indian Village Dates to AD 1443-1465 (within shouting distance of this marker); Huff Indian Village State Historic Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Archaeological Excavations of Houses (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Rice (approx. 7.8 miles away); The Founding of Fort Rice (approx. 7.8 miles away); Fort Rice After General Sully's Expeditions (approx. 7.8 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps (approx. 14 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps Project (approx. 14 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huff.
 
Also see . . .  Huff Village State Historic Site. (Submitted on August 7, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 5, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 5, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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Mar. 5, 2021