Blood Run National Historic Landmark


Explore and learn about one of the most significant archaeological sites in the states of Iowa and South Dakota! While a place of importance to past peoples for thousands of years, the Blood Run National Historic Landmark is especially significant for the information it preserves for the period A.D. 1500–1700, linking ancient and historic people of what became the Iowa-South Dakota region. Blood Run is the name given to an archaeological site that has been designated as a National Historic Landmark because it is important to many people in the past including the Ioway, Oto, Omaha, Ponca and others because of its role as a village site, a gathering place for many tribes, and its relationship to the Pipestone Quarries just 50 miles to the north. Numerous burial mounds are found throughout the site. All burials, regardless of age and whether on public or private land, are protected under Iowa law.

Blood Run is a site that bridges many worldviews in time and culture.  It is a place of many voices, many histories, and many stories.  In the words of American Indian Scholar, Peter Nabokov “Even when the sites have become tract housing or freeway, today’s encounters with such places become springboards for sharper questions about why things happened the way they did, frequently with salutary effects on the narratives you produce.”  Blood Run is a site with many pasts and competing visions for the future.  To understand why things happened the way they did at the place known archaeologically as Blood Run, is to move through the land, the place, the times.  We envision this website as a visual introduction to the site of Blood Run, and we hear from some who have spoken about the site in the past, present, and towards the future. 

This website is made possible by a Lyon County Riverboat Foundation matching grant to the Lyon County Historical Society in partnership with the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist and with cooperation from the National Park Service, State Historical Society of Iowa, Lyon County Conservation Board, and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks.

For more information see the following links:

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