Earth Lodge
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North Dakota State University

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Last Updated:
September 2010

Interior of a Plains Indian earth lodge.


The Like-A-Fishhook Story
Prior to the coming of European Americans, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes of the Middle Missouri River resided in sedentary earth-lodge communities. Despite a basic similarity of economic and social life, these peoples differed remarkably in language and customs; the Mandan and Hidatsa speak a Siouan dialect, while the Arikara, related to the Pawnee, are members of the Caddoan linguistic group. One of the most important historic sites of the Northern Plains was Like-a-Fishhook Village, which was occupied simultaneously by all three tribes, known today officially as the Three Affiliated Tribes.

The Virtual Archaeologist Project
This project, Virtual Archaeologist, is an immersive three-dimensional (3D) educational environment that will simulate the real-world conditions of an archaeology excavation. This type of environment will immerse introductory archaeology students in the role of an archaeologist forcing them to evaluate scientific problems as an archaeologist would. In essence we are asking our students to "think" like archaeologists, and do so through a learn-by-doing theory of education. The aim is to create an active and educational space where visitors are engaged in goal-based tasks that promote exploration and problem-solving: the usual thrust. In other words, this is NOT a museum peice where people come to wander around and passively look at things. Visitors will be engaged in geology, botany, and archeology of the excavation site.

The first version is text-based, with migration to a 3D, game-like interface to be introduced during the fall of 2005.

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