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“THIS IS VERY NEW IN THE WORLD OF INTERPRETING ARTIFACTS.

THIS IS PROBABLY THE MOST TECHNOLOGICALLY DEVELOPED ARCHAEOLOGY-TECHNOLOGIES LAB ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY.”

and Mandan, commemorating the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition into the American West. Part of the mission of Circle of Cultures was to renew bonds of cooperation between the earth lodge people – the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara nations – and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Those bonds were forged during the winter of 1804-05, when Lewis and Clark and their men stayed among the Mandan and Hidatsas along the Missouri River north of Bismarck.

PEEKING INSIDE LONG-LOST EARTH LODGES

Using Maya software’s virtual creation and animation features, the video allows film watchers to see how people lived in Mandan earth lodges about 1776, a quarter century before Lewis and Clark’s entourage paddled up the Missouri River.

Another key piece of lab equipment is a highly accurate Minolta laser scanner that

captures images of artifacts in three dimensions and in their true colors.

Besides “building” lodges on his computer, Snider outfitted the interiors of several simulated lodges, allowing viewers to see the interior lay- out and furnishings of earth lodge homes. Although the process was painstaking, techni- cal and time consuming, the end result for viewers was a true-to-life onscreen home tour. Think of it as a historical video version of the “parade of homes” that builders commonly use to showcase model homes. Anybody who likes to peek inside others’ homes and imagine how other folks live will enjoy the “On-A-Slant” video, now a permanent fixture at Fort Abraham Lincoln near Mandan.

“This is very new in the world of interpret- ing artifacts,” Clark says. “This is probably the most technologically developed archaeol- ogy-technologies lab anywhere in the country. Money is the only limitation. We want to do

38 NDSUmagazine

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