Trade at Menoken
Menoken Village State Historic Site
Several tiny obsidian pieces were found in excavations. Obsidian is a volcanic glass that has a very sharp cutting edge when fractured. The nearest and most likely source for this stone is near present-day Yellowstone National park, about 520 miles away.
Many metal objects were found at Menoken, including recent gun shell castings and beverage cans just beneath the sod, owing to use of the site as a picnic and hunting area during the last century. The most surprising
The marine shell ornaments are probably the farthest from their sources, which could have been the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, or the Caribbean Sea. Other shells came from the creek nearby or from the Missouri River and could have been gaming pieces and paint dishes, as well as decorative ornaments.
Several fossil shells were found in the excavations. These include two species of fossil freshwater snails from a 60-million-year-old geologic formation that outcrops along the Missouri River. A fragment of a marine cephalopod or ammonite was also recovered.
Lower left: Native copper artifacts include a small awl tip and five small, thin, irregular fragments that may be residue from hammering and shaping large copper pieces
Upper middle: This map shows the nearest sources for several exotic (here, meaning nonlocal) materials found in the AD 1200 artifacts assemblage at Menoken
Lower middle: It was not clear why these fossils were collected- perhaps as objects of symbolism, as ornaments, or simply as curios.
Upper right: Ornaments made from sea or marine shell include several kinds of beads and a tapered pendant
Lower right: The large disk made from mussel shell may have served as a gaming piece, perhaps tossed like a coin or die in a game of chance. Mussel shell is available locally
Erected by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & Archaeology • Native Americans. A significant historical year for this entry is 1200.
Location. 46° 50.515′ N, 100° 31.031′ W. Marker is near Menoken, North Dakota, in Burleigh County. Marker can be reached from 171st Street Northeast 0.2 miles north of 30th Avenue Northeast, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Menoken ND 58558, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Investigating a Pit House (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Archeological Studies At Menoken Village (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Menoken Village State Historic Site (about 400 feet away); Menoken Indian Village Site (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Menoken Village State Historic Site (about 500 feet away); Apple Creek (approx. 3.2 miles away).
Also see . . . Menoken Village State Historic Site. (Submitted on August 8, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 8, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 8, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.