Third Sunday Archeology: Prehistoric and Protohistoric Strategies for Bison Procurement in South Dakota

Archaeological excavations at a bison bone bed in Hand County, S.D.

Archaeological excavations at a bison bone bed in Hand County, SD, site 39HD115. The project involved professional archaeologists and volunteers including students from Augustana and the University of South Dakota.

Event Details


Date: February 16, 2020

Times: 2 p.m.

Location: Froiland Science Complex 113A

Ticket Info: Free and open to the public


February's installment of Augustana's Third Sunday Archeology Program will feature Michael Fosha, assistant state archaeologist for South Dakota and adjunct instructor at Black Hill State University, on "Licking Bison and Other Bison Kill Sites: Prehistoric and Protohistoric Strategies for Bison Procurement in South Dakota" at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16, in the Froiland Science Complex room 113A.

The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a question/answer session. Refreshments will be served.

In the past two years, there has been an increase in investigations of recorded and unrecorded archeological sites identified as bison kill sites in South Dakota. Data from these studies will be utilized for the South Dakota State Historical Society’s National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation of bison kills in the state.

Some of the research has included visiting these sites to determine function and their potential significance while others have been the focus of limited excavations. The interpretation of these sites will be the focus of this presentation.

Michael-Fosha, excavating bison at site 39HN1666, Harding County, South DakotaAbout speaker Michael Fosha

Michael Fosha is the assistant state archaeologist for South Dakota and adjunct instructor at Black Hills State University. He earned an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. His duties as the assistant state archaeologist include outreach, research, and mining and state permitting. He works closely with the South Dakota Archaeological Society, and serves on several professional boards.

Fosha is currently on several thesis committees and involved extensively in quaternary research and bison studies in the state. Some additional research interests include lithic procurement and stone tool manufacture, faunal analysis, geomorphology and sedimentology, and historic archaeology. His passion is sharing the archaeological experience in the field with colleagues and avocational enthusiasts.


This program is funded in part by the David B. Jones Foundation, Augustana University’s Mellon Fund Committee, Augustana’s Archeology Laboratory and the Sioux Falls Chapter of the South Dakota Archaeological Society.

Up Next

In March, Dr. Matthew E. Hill, Jr., associate professor of anthropology from the University of Iowa, will speak on "Our Furry Companions: The Changing (and Changeless) Nature of the Dog-Human Relationship," at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, in Froiland Science Complex room 113A.


L. Adrien Hannus
Director, Archeology Lab
Augustana University
605.274.5493
adrien.hannus@augie.edu