Biesterfeldt Site

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Biesterfeldt Site (32RM1)
Biesterfeldt Site is located in North Dakota
Biesterfeldt Site
Biesterfeldt Site is located in the US
Biesterfeldt Site
Location Southern side of the Sheyenne River along 140th Ave. [2]
Nearest city Lisbon, North Dakota
Coordinates 46°23′46″N 97°29′11″W / 46.39611°N 97.48639°W / 46.39611; -97.48639
BIESTERFELDT SITE Latitude and Longitude:

46°23′46″N 97°29′11″W / 46.39611°N 97.48639°W / 46.39611; -97.48639
Area 4.5 acres (1.8 ha)
NRHP reference # 80002925 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP February 8, 1980
Designated NHL December 23, 2016

The Biesterfeldt Site (Shahienawoju in Lakota, and designated by the Smithsonian trinomial 32RM1) is an archaeological site near Lisbon, North Dakota, United States, located along the Sheyenne River. The site is the only documented earth lodge in the watershed of the Red River, and the only one that has been unambiguously affiliated with the Cheyenne tribe, who are believed to have occupied it c. 1724-1780). In 1980, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its archaeological significance. [1] It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2016. [3]


The Biesterfeldt Site, named for its 1930s landowner, is located southeast of Lisbon, on a terrace overlooking a former channel of the Sheyenne River. The main area of the site is a rough oval bounded on three sides by a fortification trench enclosing a total area of 4.5 acres (1.8 ha). It is known through archaeological test surveys that cultural artifacts extend outside the trench, but the extent of these has not been fully bounded. The northern portion of the enclosure shows visible evidence of scattered lodge pits, while the area to the south, more intensively farmed in later historic times, has less visible signs of occupation. [4]

The site was used as farmland for most of the 20th century, primarily as pastureland after about 1950. The property was acquired by the Archaeological Conservancy in 2004 for permanent preservation. Its first mention in the historical record appears to be by a French fur trader, who recorded mention of a Cheyenne village on the Sheyenne River that was wiped out in a battle with the Ojibwe around 1798. The first documented visit to the site was by a United States Army captain, who described it in 1868, including elements of its history from surrounding Native Americans, who claimed the Cheyenne were driven out by the Dakota. The first archaeologist to describe the site was the pioneering archaeologist Theodore H. Lewis, in 1890. The first formal excavations took place in 1938, under the auspices of William Duncan Strong. He recovered a wide variety of artifacts, from glass beads to metal weapons, and noted that many of the lodge pits showed evidence of destruction by fire. The site continues to be periodically investigated. [4]


Biesterfeldt ... Site ...



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