South Dakota Nature April 10, 2018
This South Dakota Park Has A 1,600-Year-Old Secret
If you live in or visit Sioux Falls, you’re lucky to have several wonderful parks to explore. There’s one that has lots of attractive features…including some that are 1,600 years old.
Sherman Park is a beautiful park that offers playgrounds, gardens, ice rink, soccer fields and softball diamonds, but you might not know that there's a 1,600-year-old-secret hiding right in plain sight here.
The park is located at 2705 W. 12th Street in Sioux Falls.
This area may look like it contains several little grass-covered hills, but they're actually Indian burial mounds, and they're approximately 1,600 years old.
There are five of these ancient mounds located on Sherman Bluff. Archaeologists used radiocarbon testing to determine the age of the mounds, which told them a lot about the remains inside. The mounds were built by Woodland Indians, who hunted buffalo on the plains of South Dakota. When members of the hunting parties died, they were first placed on scaffolds as tradition dictated; then the bodies were buried in ceremonial mounds. Only the heads and large bones of the deceased were placed in the mounds.
In 1962, one mound was excavated, and we learned even more about the mounds.
Scientists at the University of South Dakota studied one of the mounds by carefully excavating it. They discovered that more recent burials were included in the mounds. In addition to the Woodland Indians of 1,600 years ago, some Sioux Indians and at least one horse are also buried here.
The next time you visit Sherman Park in Sioux Falls, check out the Indian burial mounds.
It's not every day that you find an ancient gem located in a city park! Please remember to treat this area with respect, and stay on the other side of the fence as the signs instruct.
Have you seen the burial mounds at Sherman Park?
another great park in Sioux Falls that has so much to do that you’ll need to stay all day long.