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Huff Indian Village State Historic Site

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c. 1450. ND 1806, 0.5 miles south of Huff

On a high flat terrace between two deep ravines that spill down to the banks of the Missouri River, this fortified Indian village predates the period of oral history associated with the Mandan people. The village is surrounded by a continuous fortification consisting of an embankment and earthwork ditch about 2,150 feet long, enclosing three sides of an 8.5-acre rectangular site. The ditch is 15 feet wide and 2 feet deep, with excavated soil from the ditch placed inside the enclosed area to form a distinct low ridge. The fortification has ten bastions spaced at regular intervals, with the side of the site facing the river protected by a bank running roughly along the long axis. Within the fortification are depressions revealing at least 103 long rectangular houses with multiple hearths, aligned in rows with entrances facing away from the river, typical of the Middle Missouri cultural settlement tradition. The foundations of a larger house are located in the approximate center of the village, facing a large open, sunken area that corresponds to the plaza in traditional Mandan villages. Archaeological research at the site began in 1905. Today, the site is fenced, signed, and open to the public.

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay


What's Nearby


Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "Huff Indian Village State Historic Site", [Mandan, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 162-162.

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