Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Douglas B. Bamforth

Second Advisor

Scott G. Ortman

Third Advisor

Catherine M. Cameron


Chief Looking’s Village (32BL3) is an archaeological site in Bismarck, ND. An ancestral Mandan community occupied this site for a short period in the mid-1500s and built two distinctly different house types, one “local” and one “foreign” design. Temporally located during a time of change in the Heart River region when settlements were growing and congregating, people from two different regions were coming together to form integrated settlements. The two housing styles indicate Chief Looking’s Village was on the precipice of this period of change, during the transition from rectangular to circular houses. My research goal is to identify changes in style, identity, and communities of practice during this period. I compare these potsherds to those recovered from Double Ditch (32BL8), Scattered Village (32MO31), and On-a-Slant Village (32MO26), synchronically and diachronically. I examined ceramic decorative techniques, patterning, and construction, to study style and identity throughout the region.