Des Moines

Rapid City

Sioux Falls

Double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site is a fascinating and significant archaeological site about seven miles north of Bismarck, North Dakota, overlooking the Missouri River. This area provides a glimpse into the life and society of the Mandan Indians, a native community that inhabited the region long before European settlers arrived.

Historically, the Mandan were sedentary traders and farmers. The Double Ditch site, named for the two distinguishable fortification ditches surrounding the village, dates back to the late 15th to the 18th century. It’s believed that this village was occupied for nearly 300 years, making it one of the longer-lasting Mandan settlements. Over time, the site has revealed insights into its inhabitants’ daily lives, trading networks, and agricultural practices.

Here’s an interesting article about McDowell Dam Recreation Area.

One of the captivating facts about Double Ditch is the evidence suggesting a well-organized and complex society. The remnants of earth lodges, the primary form of housing for the Mandan, are visible across the site. These structures were constructed using a combination of logs, grass, and earth, offering insulation during cold months and cooling during the summer.

The reason behind the village’s abandonment in the 18th century remains debated among historians and archaeologists. Some theories propose that diseases introduced by European contact or intertribal conflicts led to its decline.

Today, visitors to Double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site can experience interpretive trails highlighting the village’s layout, the fortifications, and the locations of former earth lodges. Additionally, informative panels provide insights into the history, culture, and lifestyle of the Mandan people, making it a visual treat and an educational journey into North Dakota’s rich indigenous history. The site serves as a testament to the enduring legacy and historical importance of the Mandan Indians in the tapestry of North American history. Keep browsing our site.

Scroll to Top

Call Us

Des Moines

Rapid City

Soiux Falls