Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 5-7-2010


A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts Major: Anthropology Area of Specialization: Professional Archaeology Under the Supervision Dr. Peter Bleed Lincoln, Nebraska May 2010


A Ditch by any other Names is Still a Ditch: An Archaeological Assessment of Ditch Earthworks on the Middle Missouri of South Dakota Albert M. LeBeau III, M.A. University of Nebraska , 2010 Advisor: Dr. Peter Bleed Abstract: This thesis is an archaeological assessment of ditch earth works on the Middle Missouri sub-area in North and South Dakota. This master’s thesis considers previously publically published materials from fifteen archaeological sites along the northern tier of Missouri River in the Dakotas. The paper questions the use of the terms “fortified” and “fortification” when describing ditch earthworks that surround some Plains Village archaeological sites. The thesis assesses the literature to compare findings from other regions for evidence of prehistoric warfare and how prehistoric war then relates to the ditch earthworks. The paper introduces criteria that can assist archaeologist in determining if prehistoric conflict has occurred and what archaeological evidence should be present. Lastly the this paper makes conclusions based on available data that relates to the form and function of ditch earthworks and their relationship to prehistoric warfare.

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