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Pulver Mounds State Historic Site

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Pulver Mounds State Historic Site preserves two low, conical burial mounds on a small bluff above Coal Lake, southeast of Underwood, McLean County. Burial mounds such as these were typically constructed during the Woodland period from approximately 100 B.C. to A.D. 600 (see Standing Rock). At that time Woodland peoples buried their dead in a carefully prepared subterranean burial chamber, and then marked the cemetery with a round pile of earth over the grave, called a conical mound. Mound sites are complex cemeteries often used for hundreds of years; some are known to have been used for more than 1,000 years. Later, Plains Village groups sometimes used the tops of existing burial mounds as places of interment.

Conical mounds in North Dakota generally range in height from two to twenty-five feet, and in diameter from ten to sixty feet. The two mounds at the Pulver Mounds site are approximately forty-five feet in diameter and are three to five feet high. These burial grounds or cemeteries are sacred to many American Indians. In the state of North Dakota, mounds are classified as unmarked burial sites and are protected by law from disturbance.

To ensure preservation of Pulver Mounds, The Falkirk Mining Company donated this significant prehistoric burial site to the State of North Dakota with the State Historical Society acting as trustee. Access to the site is limited until nearby mining operations are completed. At present, there are no interpretive materials at the site. For access information, contact the Historic Preservation Division, State Historical Society of North Dakota, 612 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, North Dakota, 58505, or call (701) 328-2666.

SHSND Address:
612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
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SHSND Hours:
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Contact SHSND:
phone: 701.328.2666
fax: 701.328.3710
email: history@nd.gov