SHSND Home > State Historic Preservation Office
The Archaeology & Historic Preservation File Room is open to cultural resource specialists (contractors) during the hours of 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday. No appointment necessary.

SHPO - State Historic Preservation Office

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Prehistoric Archaeology

In North Dakota there is evidence of 11,000 years of human occupation prior to written records. These archaeological sites provide important scientific information about where people lived, the resources they utilized, the technology used, and lifeway changes through time. The photo above is of the Knife River Flint Quarries. Knife River flint was used from the earliest times into the historic period by Native American peoples to make stone tools.

ft. clark state historic site aerial

Historic Archaeology

Historic archaeology combines archaeological and historical methods, sources, and perspectives to study the recent past. Examples of historic archaeological sites in North Dakota include fur trade posts, military posts, battlefields, trails, and homesteads. The image above is of Fort Clark State Historic Site. The site was first occupied by the Mandan by 1822 and later by the Arikara (1838). Fur trade posts (1830/31 - 1861) were constructed near the earthlodge village in hopes to enhance trade with the Native Americans, including the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras.

GF Fairgrounds


The State Historical Society of North Dakota (SHSND) has posted several historic contexts online for use in research and preservation planning.

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Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
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State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

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