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Archaeology and Paleontology
Thousands of years of evidence of prehistoric humans and animals are spread across the state of South Dakota and scientists are working to find and preserve that evidence.
Some of the richest fossil beds and archaeological remnants are located in South Dakota, with a variety of museums and dig sites offering the opportunity to witness and experience the thrill of discovering evidence of times past.
This thrill is best represented by the unearthing of “Sue,” the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex that has ever been discovered. “Sue” was found near Faith, South Dakota, in 1990. The fossil's permanent home is at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. There, “Sue” continues to be studied by scientists and seen by the public.
Additionally, an array of evidence of prehistoric animals and societies has been discovered across the state. Visitors are welcome to visit dig sites and museums to learn more about archaeology and paleontology in South Dakota.
South Dakota Organizations and Resources:
Archaeological Research Center, Rapid City
Badlands National Park
Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, Hill City
Black Hills Museum of Natural History, Hill City
Black Hills National Forest
Children's Museum of South Dakota, Brookings
Cultural Heritage Center, Pierre
The Journey Museum, Rapid City
The Mammoth Site, Hot Springs
Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village and Archeodome, Mitchell
Museum of Geology, Rapid City
US Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, NE
Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science, Sioux Falls