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Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month 2024


Celebrated each May, South Dakota Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month was created to acquaint the public with the disciplines of archaeology and historic preservation and to strengthen the enduring bond between the past and the present! The theme for 2023 was "History Makers". This theme was chosen to coincide with the South Dakota State Historical Society's Annual History Conference which took place at the end of April 2023. This conference covered some of South Dakota's most interesting and influential 'history makers' including; Casey Tibbs, Mattie Newcombe, Oscar Micheaux, Women Suffragists, Deadwood's Chinatown, Oscar Howe, and Ben Reifel. 



Archaeology Camp 2024

Archaeology Camp 2024 will be on June 4-6! Registration will begin on Wednesday May 1st at 8:00am.

Please click here to go to our Archaeology Camp page for more information and how to register!



Student Essay Contest 2024: "This Place Matters"

Each year as a part of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month, the South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office hosts a state wide fourth grade student essay contest! This competition proposes to enable students to achieve a better appreciation of our state's history and their historic resources, the stories they tell, and why they should be preserved for future generations. In 2023 we received 209 essays, and are hoping for even more participation in 2024! Below you will find more information as well as the contest guidelines, entry form, and a fun flyer to hang up around the classroom/school. 

As always, the theme for this year's contest is "This Place Matters". Students who enter are asked to write an essay about any South Dakota location that is at least 50 years old, why it is a favorite place for them, and why it shold be preserved. The essay does not need to be a historic site and students do not need to write a full history of the location. Each entry will be judged on quality of writing, content and theme, and originality. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. The 1st place winner will receive a $200 cash prize, 2nd place will receive a $100 cash prize, and 3rd place will received a $50 cash prize. Each place will also receive a one-year ($55 value) family membership to the South Dakota State Historical Society!

Entries must be postmarked no later than the deadline of Friday, March 15th. Winners will be notified on or before April 15th. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Goss at or (605)773-2907. Thank you for your participation, we can't wait to read all the wonderful essays!

2024 Entry Guidelines

2024 Entry Form

2024 Essay Contest Flyer

2023 Top Three Winner Essays







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