Upcoming Lectures

Until further notice, all meetings will be held virtually.



When: Thursday, August 13, 2020 AT 7:00 pm
Where: Click here to open the Google Meeting
Cost: Free & Open to the Public


Dr. Mark D. Mitchell
Paleocultural Research Group

Photo from Paleocultural Research Group

Warfare on the Northern Plains: Quantifying the Construction of Community Fortification at the Molander Site


Large-scale warfare was a fact of life for the indigenous farmers living in what is now the state of North Dakota. Especially after A.D. 1500, they built elaborate defensive systems to protect their villages and towns, defensive systems that featured deep ditches, continuous log palisades, and specialized guard towers known as bastions. Building these fortifications required complex planning and coordination to select an appropriate design, to gather required materials, and to manage the work effort. Fortifications also required an enormous investiment of labor. The well-preserved defensive system at the Molander site, an eighteenth-century Hidatsa community, offers a unique opportunity to investiate fortification design and planning and to quantify the construction effort required. Data on the design of Molander’s fortification also offers new insights into the nature of warfare and community mobility during the 1700s.


Dr. Mark D. Mitchell  is the Research Director for Paleocultural Research Group, a nonprofit that conducts research, trains students, and educates the public on the archaeology and paleoecology of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. Mitchell holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and has more than 35 years of experience in archaeological field and laboratory research. His research interests span the archaeology of two different regions: the Northern Great Plains in central and western North Dakota and the Southern Rocky Mountains in Colorado and New Mexico. His Northern Plains research focuses on the political and economic development of post-A.D. 1200 farming villages of the Missouri River valley. Mitchell’s Southern Rockies research focuses on American Indian land use in the San Luis Valley and adjacent mountains. He is the author of journal articles, book chapters, and monographs on the archaeology of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.



July 2020: Carlton Shield Chief Gover: Dating Apps in Archaeology

June 2020: Amelia Brackett, Chance Nelson: The Boulder Apple Tree Project

May 2020: Christian Driver: The History of Settlers Park

February 2020: Dr. Jason LaBelle: Of Hearth and Home: Investigating the Fossil Creek Site, an Early Ceramic Era Campsite in Larimer County, Colorado

January 2020:  Laura Vernon & Jenna Wheaton: Gender, Social Networks, and Labor Disputes: Household Archaeology at the Industrial Mine Camp

November 2019: Kaitlyn Davis: Pueblo Agricultural Adaptations to Socioeconomic Changes in New Mexico

October 2019: Dr. Scott OrtmanK’uuyemugeh—Archaeology and History of a Tewa Community in New Mexico



Is there a particular speaker that you would like to see? Email the IPCAS Vice President to suggest a speaker.